October 13, 1968
Two major fires in the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries have come to light.
These were those of 1887 and 1914. In both cases,
extensive damage was done to the area immediately
surrounding the Burt House, but the Burt House
itself was not mentioned in the list of buildings
burned or partially damaged. Since the lists
are presented as specific listings, the Burt House
should have been listed if there were any damages.
The fire of 1887 damaged two blocks of the
downtown section. The fire began in the St.
Augustine Hotel on the corner of Cathedral Place
and Charlotte Street. The hotel was burned to
the ground and the cathedral next to it was gutted.
But the Burt House, as the Peck house, Spanish
Treasury, or as an address, was not mentioned in
the damage list.
A second fire on which we have information
is thatfof1914, This fire started in the Florida
House Hotel located on the northwest corner of
St. George and Treasury Streets (diagonally
across the street from the Burt House). Here
the area from Treasury Street to Hypolita Street
east to the bay was "leveled". Again, the
Burt House was not mentioned as having sustained
any damage. In fact, there is a picture taken
from the garden of the Burt House showing the
ruins of the Florida House Hotel on the next
morning. So evidently the Treasury was not
damaged at all.
There are two other fires which have yet
to be checked. These are those of 1895 and of
1929. As the Burt House was given to the city
without any mention of fire damage in 1931,
the latter fire probably did not affect it.