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


Antlers Hotel, Colorado Springs - 1898 
  • On Aug. 4, 1890, an explosion and fire ruined the Denver Fire Brick and Chemical Supply House."The entire front of the building was blown out, and the men passing in front of the store at the time were hurled across the street and badly bruised. The building took fire instantly, and when partially extinguished a body, burned to a crisp and identified as that of the President of the company, Joseph Bosworth, was taken out of the ruins." [Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal]
  • On Dec. 27, 1890, arson fires broke out at Cheyenne, Wyoming and destroyed the state's only grain elevator as well as three barns. [New York Times]
  • April 22, 1891: Fire at Davis and Criswell Brass Foundry in Denver. [DFD]
  • On Nov. 9, 1891, an early morning fire killed four men and 34 horses at the Mansions livery stables at 1816 Lawrence St., Denver. [Warsaw Daily Times of Warsaw, Indiana] The men, employees of the Cable Restaurant, were asleep in rented rooms over the stable.
  • Dec. 28, 1891: Fire at Appel & Co. in Denver. [DFD]
  • On Jan. 11, 1892, an accidental fire destroyed the McClellan Opera House and spread to other buildings in Georgetown, Colorado. The opera house "burned like tinder, and the flames soon spread to Mrs. Johnson's millinery store, which was totally destroyed, and from there to the Hotel de Paris, which was also burned," The New York Times reported. "The fire was started by Mr. McClellan, who was thawing out frozen water pipes in the opera house." [New York Times Jan. 12, 1892]
  • June 10, 1892: Fire at Metropolitan Theater in Denver. []
  • June 11, 1892: Fire at Peoples Theatre in Denver. [DFD]
  • On Jan. 5, 1893, a fire that started at the E. A. Halleck Paint, Oil, and Glass Company in Denver spread to other businesses, Including Eaton, Ritchell & Co., Denver Stamping Company, Western Laundry Company and the National Cracker Company. [New York Times] 
  • On Jan. 20, 1893, fire struck the Grand Central Hotel at 17th and Wazee streets, Denver. Firemen used ladders to rescue guests. The fire started in an oil stove. [Leadville Chronicle, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection] 
  • March 24, 1893: Fire destroyed the Summit Fuel and Feed Co. warehouse in Denver. Firefighters Frank Mahoney and Fred Pierpont were killed when the east wall collapsed into an alley between the warehouse and a number of freight cars. Firefighters Mel Baker and A. Riley were injured. The men were assigned to the central fire station engine company. [Aspen Evening Chronicle, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On Aug. 14, 1893, a general alarm fire destroyed the Crescent flour mill and elevator at Stanton Avenue and Montgomery Street in Denver. [Morning Herald of Baltimore, Maryland] Two firemen were injured. Lieutenant McLean [first name not printed by newspaper] was seriously injured by an explosion in the "dust room." The other, F. Sargeant, driver for Chief Pearsy, suffered a broken arm after being forced from the roof by a hose stream. Every engine in the city was sent to the fire. However, the water supply was inadequate.
  • On March 10, 1894, Warren H. Russell, photograph engraver, died in a fire at Dimon & Adams Manufacturing Company in Denver. The cause of death was listed as suffocation. [New York Times, March 11, 1894]
  • On March 18, 1894, Denver's Union Deport burned. "It seemed to the spectator of the lurid scene as though it was but the burning of a toy paper house." [The Flume, Fairplay, Colorado] "There were many narrow escapes from death by the firemen, and each new experience of this nature was received with a hush of awe by the spectators and a shout of rejoicing when a huge timber in flames missed the person of some firemen."
  • On March 22, 1894, fire destroyed the Champa Furniture Co. building in Denver and the flames spread to the St. James Hotel, which was located across an alley. [New York Times] The walls of the furniture company collapsed in less than an hour and saved the city "from an extended conflagration." The hotel sustained significant damage, including the loss of 12 rooms and damage to 25 others. Eerily, a year later, on March 23, 1895, the St. James Hotel was the scene of a fire that killed four Denver firemen.
  • On March, 23, 1895, four Denver firefighters died when a floor collapsed during a fire at the St. James Hotel. "All but one member of Hose Company No. 3 lost their lives. The hose company, excepting the Captain, is composed of colored men. The unfortunate men were groping about in the blinding smoke in the rotunda and the cement floor gave way, precipitating them into the basement, where they were mangled and suffocated." [New York Times]
  • On Aug. 19, 1895, a boiler explosion and fire destroyed the Gumry Hotel in downtown Denver. "Naught but the walls were left intact." [Aspen Weekly Times] The explosion killed 22 people including Peter Gumry, proprietor of the hotel. [New York Times] "Every engine in the city was called to the scene … The firemen worked with great heroism. The heat was intense, and the smoke blinding. Electric light wires dangling in the alley, and walls tottering to a fall, increased the perils of the situation." [Oswego Daily Times of New York, Aug. 19, 1895]
  • On Aug. 22, 1895, fire swept McPhee McGinnity's planing mill in Denver. []
  • Oct. 6, 1895: Fire at Cooper and Hagus Furniture Co. in Denver. [DFD]
  • Dec. 20, 1895: Fire at Riche-Jacobson Block in Denver. [DFD]
  • On April 29, 1896, fire left 1,000 people homeless in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
  • July 12, 1896: Fire at Denver Consolidated Electric Co. [DFD]
  • 1896: Craig Opera House burned in Craig, Colorado. []
  • June 4, 1897: Fire at Quincy Building in Denver. [DFD]
  • June 10, 1897: Fire at Studebaker Carriage Co. in Denver. [DFD]
  • 1898: Fire destroyed Grand Junction Milling and Elevator Company in Grand Junction. [Museums of Western Colorado]
  • On March 22, 1898, a fire that started at the Wood Side, a hotel, burned for three hours and for a time threatened the eastern end of Colorado Springs. [The New York Times.]
  • On Oct. 1, 1898, fire swept downtown Colorado Springs. "A strip four blocks long from north to south, and two blocks wide from east to west, was burned over, and the flames would not have been checked there but for assistance from Denver and Pueblo." [Kansas City Journal] "The Antlers Hotel, one of the largest in the West, the lumber yards and two blocks of business houses were destroyed. The fire started in a pile of rubbish underneath the platform of the Denver & Rio Grande freight depot. Within five minutes it had communicated to freight cars standing at the depot, and it spread so rapidly that it was impossible to move any of the cars. Half a car of powder consigned to G. S. Barnes & Son exploded."
  • On Feb. 12, 1899, the Deremer Opera House burned in Pueblo, Colorado. []
  • On March 7, 1899, fire destroyed the "Hungarian" elevators in Denver and "rendered valueless 300,000 bushels of wheat." [New York Times, March 8, 1899] The fire originated in the dust room of the elevator, owned by J.K. Mullen & Co. "The work of the firemen was retarded by the frozen condition of the water plugs," it was reported. Also known as Colorado Milling and Elevator Co. [DFD]
  • On Aug. 21, 1899, fire destroyed 14 blocks of Victor, Colorado, leaving the gold mining town's business district in ashes. Firefighters failed to contain the flames even after turning to dynamite to topple buildings, most of which were made of pine timber.
  • In 1899, a coal seam fire started near New Castle, Colorado - and has burned underground ever since []In the 1890s or early 1900s, fire destroyed a potash plant in south Denver. [Denver Public Library digital collection]

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