thence to two houses adjoining, one of which was occupied as a bakery; from thence it communicated to Mr. [Thomas] Janvier’s large dwelling [Lot 5], thence to a small house belonging to the Steam Boat Company [Lot 5]; thence to Mr. Saxton’s [Richard Sexton] brick dwelling and stables [Lot 6], thence to a brick dwelling, and the stores and dwelling of Mr. Raynow [Lot 6], thence to Mr. M’Cullough’s [James McCullough] dwellinghouse [Lot 7], thence to a brick house occupied as a dwelling and dry goods store [lot 7] also owned by McCullough ...
At this point the account becomes confusing, because the names of two property owners, one deceased, are confused:
The reporter confuses, for us at least, the home bought by George Read, Sr., in 1798 (Lot 8) with the mansion built by his son, George 'Read, Jr., on Lot 9. Both were then owned by George Read, Jr., and hence both could have been known properly as his dwellings. Since the fire was going north, and is not described as leaping over a building before it was stopped by a wet roof, and since the account states that one Read house was reached by the flames before the other halted the fire, we can conclude that the house of George Read, Sr., the Old Read House, now owned by his son, was burned and that the fire was stopped by George Read, Jr.'s house, the present Read House. This explanation seems to be confirmed by a letter of thanks to the Wilmington fire companies published in a Wilmington newspaper by Read.
By this fire over one-half the buildings along Front Street between Delaware and Harmony Streets were burned or had to be rebuilt. On the east side, all the buildings from Bank Lot 1 to Bank Lot 7 were destroyed or badly damaged. On the west side portions of an older