Sebring Ohio Historical Society
126 North 15th Street
Sebring, Ohio 44672
In early Sebring, there was a stream running across the road east of 17th Street.  
When the well was dug in front of village hall, it was claimed that they found blind
fish, which proved there was an underground lake.  The lack of an adequate water
supply was the reason for many disastrous fires.  
Other acts of nature plagued the fire department. In January 1904, Fire Chief
Heidegger reported that all the fire plugs in Sebring were frozen and could not be
Fires and Losses of Sebring
Fire Destroys Royal China
February 20, 1970
July 24, 1920,  3:45 a.m.
Destroyed Sebring Times, Victoria Block, Brooks Barber Shop, Bailey
Restaurant, Chinese Laundry, Herman Building, Knight Building
Fire broke out in the Chinese laundry on West Ohio avenue near the square.  The
water line between the pumping station and the standpipe was broken and there
was no water.  The fire quickly spread and totally destroyed the three-story
Herman building, the Knight Building on the corner and the Sebring Times plant.  
The fire loss was estimated at $70,000.  It is said that the Chinese man who
owned the laundry where the fire started ran all the way to Alliance because he
thought he would be blamed.
Stanford Pottery, Sebring Container, East Ohio Machinery
January 22, 1961, 8:00 p.m.
Five firms were hit with fire, loss estimated at $765,000.  The village's
second-oldest plant, The Stanford Pottery, 40 South 15th Street, and a two story
building nearby were both burned.  100-300 persons lost their jobs, varying by
source.  Sebring Container, East Ohio Machinery Co., Stanford Sales Company,
Sebring Engineering and Equipment Company also burned.  The blaze started in
the back end of the Stanford Art Pottery facing west where two men were
working.  It apparently first thought to have began over a gloss kiln and spread
very quickly.  Later sources stated the source was at the clay shop in a heating
booster unit.  It had a fan that blew air throughout the plant and resembled a kiln.  
Despite 8 degree weather and a brisk northwest wind, more than 2,000 people
gathered to watch the spectacular blaze.  The flames shot 150 and more feet into
the air. The Sebring fire chief was reported as both John Watson and Herbert
Vogt. The firefighters became encrusted in ice, and could scarcely stand up as the
streets were made slippery by water freezing on them instantly.  The Sebring
Building, built in the mid- 1920's housed the other businesses.  All were insured
except for the Stanford Art Pottery department.  They were able to salvage their
records and 3/4 of their drawings before the fire spread to their departments.  A
new $150,000 dipping machine had just been installed at the pottery.
Two people were injured in the blaze, Edgar Schotte of 147 S. 15th Street
suffered severe lacerations of his right wrist when breaking a window while saving
records.  A member of the Sebring Fire Department was also injured, George
Goodballet.  He was treated for eye burns.  The main line of the Pittsburgh-Ft.
firemen to string hoses across tracks.  
The blaze raged out of control for more than four hours. More than 100 firemen
were at the scene, from Sebring, Alliance, Deerfield, Damascus and Beloit.  It was
feared for some time that the Sebring Bus Terminal and Royal china, Inc would
also become ignited by the intense heat and the flaming sheets of cardboard that
were blown over a large radius by the high winds.  Fire units kept pouring water
on these two buildings and the Gem Clay storage building south of the Stanford
plant.  During the fire, Salvation Army workers, Sebring Ladies' Auxiliaries and
many citizens swarmed over the area with hot coffee to aid the firemen.  After the
fire, dozens of people offered labor, trucks equipment and other things to help get
the businesses back running as soon as possible.  Stanford made ash trays,
figurines, planters and vases.  East Ohio Machine moved to Alliance.
Sources of this page come from the Alliance Review, The Salem News and the
Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Potters Herald, the Sebring Times, Canton Repository,
and the Youngstown Vindicator.  Many of the clippings found did not have dates.  If
you have one, please contribute to our accuracy by sending it to
For a more complete history of the
Sebring Fire Department, follow this link.
The Ohio Avenue Motor Company at the corner of 16th and Ohio Avenue caught
fire and was totally destroyed.  42 cars were lost, and the estimate was at $70,000.
February 3, 1947
A boiler explosion set the Grindley Artware Manufacturing Company afire.  It
became out of control and despite efforts of the Sebring and Alliance Fire
Departments, it quickly spread through the entire plant.  The loss was estimated at
The Gem Clay Forming Company was housed in a frame building behind the
French China Company.  A fire started from hot coal ashes and there was not
much water available, causing a total loss.
Mr. Samuel Katzenstein was in the process of constructing a business block.  The
Building was partially completed when it caught fire from a plumber's furnace and
the building burned to the ground.
November, 1943
The O. H. Sebring mansion of Ohio Avenue burned on Thanksgiving evening.  
The destruction of this home was practically complete.
Russell Sanders
Holiday Designs, June 1987 Arson
Three unknown fires
Sanor Saw Mill
Can you tell me more?
I'll take your stories and scan
your pictures into this page!
Cindy Christani
Westville Lake
G. J. Decort Basket Factory,
Damascus, Ohio.
Burned by juvenile arsonists
April 25, 1952
Fire Destroys
Mansion on
Thanksgiving Day
November 24, 1943
Grindley Artware Pottery
Boiler Explosion, 2 kilns, $200,000 loss
February 3, 1947
Unknown date
December 19, 1963
Sebring Water Plant
Fire and Chlorine Gas fumes
Sebring Cooperage Company Factory
January 16, 1963
Sebring McKinley High School
Limoges China burned, destroying the equipment and indirectly caused the death
of the ceramic expert from Europe hired by the Sebring's.  
A new fire bell had to be purchased from a Cincinnati foundry.  The original 1,000
pound 64 inch bell cracked while ringing curfew.
Stanford Pottery, East Ohio Machinery and Sebring Container