Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


    Anti-Chinese rioting in Denver - 1880
  • On Oct. 31, 1880, two members of the Denver Fire Department were among those injured in anti-Chinese rioting. [New York Times, Nov. 1, 1880]
  • 1882: Fire at Wood's Opera House in Leadville, Colorado. []
  • On May 19, 1882, flames destroyed the Windsor Hotel in Leadville, Colorado. The fire started at the Palace of Fashion clothing house on Chestnut Street and spread to the hotel. [Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, Providence, Rhode Island, May 22, 1882] 
  • July 6, 1882: Fire at Academy of Music in Denver. []
  • Nov.7, 1882: Largest earthquake in Colorado history. Epicenter was described as "west of Fort Collins" and shook the ground in Denver. The magnitude has been estimated at 6.6 on the Richter Scale. [ City of Fort Collins] 
  • Jan. 29, 1884: Academy Theatre fire, 16th and Markets streets, Denver. [DFD]
  • Feb. 26, 1884: Fire at National Hotel and Nashville Hotel, 19th and Wazee streets, Denver. [DFD]
  • March 25, 1884: Fire at Denver's street car stables, 16th and Curtis streets. [DFD]
  • On Aug. 30, 1884, a newspaper [the Boston Evening Transcript] reported a circus train carrying animals, performers, trainers and roustabouts took fire at Windsor station nine miles north of Greeley, Colorado. Nine men died in the blaze that started in a sleeping car arranged in three tiers of bunks on either side. The victims were buried at Greeley in a single coffin seven feet wide and 10 feet long. The Orton's Anglo-American circus train continued onto an afternoon engagement in Golden even though a coroners jury had been impaneled at Greeley to investigate the Aug. 29 fire. Two of the dead were identified by their legal names: Alexander McLeod of Wisconsin and Thomas Kelly of New York. The others were known only as "Silver Thorn," "Andy," "Frenchy," "Frank," "George" and "Smithie." The name of the ninth victim wasn't know. A number of other men suffered burns. The 17-car train, which departed Fort Collins over the Greeley, Salt Lake & Pacific Railroad, carried two barrels of gasoline that may have ignited. [A marker at a Greeley cemetery plot states 10 men are buried there.] 
  • Jan. 4, 1885: Fire at Melbourn Carriage Works, 22nd and Markets streets, Denver. [DFD]
  • Oct. 8, 1885: Fire at Earnest and Wilbur stables, 16th and Wazee streets, Denver. [DFD]
  • On July 6, 1886, fire destroyed the Academy of Music, 16th and Market streets, Denver. [New York Times] "The ground floor was occupied as business houses, in which several men were sleeping at the time of the fire, all of whom were rescued by the firemen except Tim Enright, an old roustabout who worked in the saloon of John Kineavy. Enright retired at 12 o'clock last night in an intoxicated condition and was forgotten until too late, and he perished in the flames."
  • On Nov. 25, 1886, fire destroyed the Union Pacific Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. [New York Times] An employee of the Union Pacific Railroad named "McElroy" was killed when a porch collapsed. Several Cheyenne firefighters were injured. The fire started in a defective flue on the third floor.
  • Jan. 15, 1887: Fire at Clifford Block at 16th and Lawrence streets, Denver [DFD]
  • March 27, 1887: Fire at Tabor Block,16th and Larimer streets, Denver. [DFD]
  • May 2, 1887: Fire at Collier & Cleveland Printers,1541 Markets St., Denver. [DFD]
  • On Aug. 21, 1888, fire struck C.E. Wall's bookstore, 408 Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo. [Aspen Evening Chronicle, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On March 13, 1889, fire swept the commercial "King Block" on Lawrence Street between 15th and 16th streets in Denver. [Aspen Weekly Times.] "The greater portion of the lower floor was gutted," causing $100,000 in damages to the Knight-McClute Music Company, which was insured for only half of that, the newspaper said. Other tenants included Callaway Brothers & Dingwell, queensware; the Schiff-Carlton Grocery Company and the Denver & Rio Grande Express Company.
  • On July 1, 1889, fire destroyed much of Durango, Colorado. [New York Times] The fire broke out at 3 p.m. and by 4 p.m. about half of the buildings were aflame or in ashes.

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