An Independence Day afternoon fire at Fitzgerald’s Hotel, “one of the city’s most famous eating places,” in 1946 became the center of attention in downtown Glens Falls.
“More than a thousand persons were attracted to the scene by the heavy palls of smoke which at times nearly obliterated the building and firemen working on ladders along the facade,” The Post-Star reported. “Glen Street was clogged with fire equipment and hoses, making it necessary to reroute heavy holiday traffic.”
The restaurant was filled with diners when the fire broke out around 2:25 p.m.
Several guests and employees, as well owner D. J. Fitzgerald Jr., were in hotel rooms on upper floors. “Two lines of hose were rigged on the aerial truck and began pouring torrents of water into the flaming roof and subsequently eight other lines were laid, flooding the blazing portions from many angles,” The Post-Star reported.