Photo Du JourWindsor

1587 McDougall

Another part of Windsor’s past was lost Tuesday night in a spectacular fire. Seen above in happier days, the building on McDougall Ave and Hanna, was originally built as the Swedish Crucible Steel Company in 1914. The historic section being the middle part of the building. The Swedish Crucible Steel Company was an early automotive supplier, making castings for the automotive industry.

Photo c. 2008 – John Stefani

A huge thanks goes out to regular reader and contributor John, who was on scene at the fire last night with his camera. John has graciously agreed to allow me to post some of his shots. The rest can be seen here.

This is a shot of the fire at about its peak.

Photo c. 2008 – John Stefani

The main wall gives way…

Photo c. 2008 – John Stefani

… Look out below!

Photo c. 2008 – John Stefani

Firefighters catch a much needed hydration break.

John was at the scene until about 2:00 am.

This is the scene at 7:30 yesterday morning.

The old section is a complete loss.

Ladder truck No. 4 is still on the scene fighting the fire that broke out abut 11:00 pm last night. This shot is from 7:30 am.

A shot of nearly the same view as above later in the afternoon. This shot is from 4:30 pm.

That yellow beast is a Seagrave pumper. Good to see there are still Seagrave Trucks protecting our city.

The large buckled wall was the original exterior front wall of the Swedish Crucible Steel Company building. The part of the building on the corner being a later addition.

Demolition continues on the structure.

More demo…

At the end of the day there was no loss of life, so from that side there is a happy ending. Windsor Fire Fighters managed to keep the blaze from spreading to Aaron’s Mini-storage too. So great job there. However sadly it’s another loss of density to the core, and to the historic factory district. I’m sure the area will remain a vacant lot for many years to come.

As you can see from the 1937 map, the front section was a later addition (on the right). The original building was contained in the louvered section.

A brewery warehouse & the Canadian Battery and Bonalite Co. Ltd. are shown as tenants in 1937. Canadian Battery and Bonalite Co. Ltd, later changed their name to Olsonite. If you’ve got an older house, check your toilet seats, it might be an Olsonite. (According to this history, in 1973, the Swedish Crucible Steel Co. legally changed their name to Olsonite)

In the 1923 directory, the building lists its tenants as the Swedish Crucible Steel & the Canadian Battery Container Corp.

To view some interior shots of the building from 2006, click here to visit Mike Beauchamp’s site.

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