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


Aftermath of Denver Gas and Electric Co. explosion - 1909
  • On Jan. 26, 1900, a newspaper reported: "The third of a series of dynamite explosions within the city limits of Leadville, Col., occurred early yesterday morning, wrecking the handsome residence of A. V. Hunter, the millionaire mine-owner, and the home of J. C. Ritchey; adjoining. The first dynamite explosion occurred Sunday night at the Carbonate theater, wrecking the rear of the building. The second occurred in the rear of the court-house, breaking windows. No one has been injured in the explosions. The police are at a loss to ascribe a motive for these outrages. Several suspicious characters have been arrested." [Springfield Republican. Springfield, Massachusetts]
  • On Jan. 23, 1900, fire leveled buildings in the center of Ward, Colorado. The next day's Ward Miner newspaper reported: “When the sun rose Thursday morning the burned district looked like a miniature sea dotted with miniature icebergs, the water poured upon the debris having frozen and formed into beautiful encrustations… Not a store, hotel, saloon, restaurant nor a business house of any sort escaped the flames… If the life of the town depended wholly upon the profits that are taken over counter and bar, its destruction would be complete and the little basin in which its business houses once stood might be abandoned for the home of the chipmunk and coyote…” 
  • On Jan. 24, 1900, fire destroyed the Town of Lafayette, Colorado.
  • On Feb. 8, 1901, fire gutted the Guggenheim Block in Pueblo. The two-story building at Main and Fourth streets was occupied by the Crews-Beggs Dry Good Company. [New York Times, Feb. 9, 1901]
  • On May 22, 1901, fire destroyed the Eaton-Ritchell Company, a tinware factory and warehouse occupying half a block at 15th and Wynkoop streets in Denver. [New York Times] 
  • On Nov. 30, 1901, fire destroyed Denver City Hall. The flames consumed important records and documents. Part of the roof collapsed, injuring Charles Stoll, an employee of the city engineering office. [Daily Republic of Iowa] Four firefighters trapped above the flames were recsued after after tossing a boot toward spectators to attract attention. Earlier in the day, firefighters extinguished two small "incendiary" fires at City Hall. [Denver Firefighters Museum]
  • On March 15, 1902, fire heavily damaged the St. Vincent's Orphan asylum in Denver. All children were evacuated and there were no injuries. [Salt Lake Tribune]
  • On June 1, 1902, fire destroyed the Schlitz Brewing Co. beer and bottling plant in Pueblo. Firemen contended with high winds.  [Herald Democrat, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection] 
  • On May 9, 1903, a building collapsed at 1510-14 Larimer St., Denver. Firemen and policemen dug through the rubble all night. Mrs. Thomas McKernan died at Emergency Hospital of injuries sustained in the collapse. George Hayes was missing and thought to be dead. Injured were Thomas McKernan, E.E. Doan, George Heberlin, S.M. Sorsenson. The building had been undergoing repairs. The front was temporarily supported by large timbers. Michaelson Brothers furnishing goods occupied the ground floor with apartments above.  [Colorado Transcript, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection] 
  • On July 29, 1903, a fire and explosion linked to a labor dispute wrecked the transformer house at the Sun and Moon mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado. [The Day, New London, Connecticut, July 30, 1903]
  • On Sept. 20, 1904, nitric acid fumes killed four firemen extinguishing a small fire in the engraving department of The Denver Post newspaper. Lieutenant Charles Dolloff was the first to succumb to his injuries. [Durango Democrat.] The others were John Mclade, Frank Lunt and Charles Eymann. About a dozen other firemen were injured by the fumes. Nitric acid, HNO3, is a colorless, fuming chemical that is highly corrosive. [Wikipedia]
  • On Aug. 6, 1905, fire destroyed the Mountain Ice Company refrigerating plant in Pueblo. Six firemen were injured. [Castle Rock Journal, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On Feb. 13, 1906, fire struck the Colorado  & Southern railroad shows at Seventh and Water streets in Denver. [DFD]
  • On Feb. 14, 1906, fire broke out at the City and County Hospital laundry building in Denver.  Flames has gained considerable headway when discovered and burned through the ceiling. [Aspen Daily Times, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On March 15, 1906, fire struck the Flint-Lomax Electric Manufacturing Company, 14th and Wynkoop streets, Denver. The one-story machinery building measured 100x125 ft. A year or two year earlier, the company lost its plant at 19th and Curtis streets to fire. [Salida Mail, Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection]
  • On April 29, 1906, a power surge from a Denver Gas and Electric Light plant started a series of fires that damaged three churches and 28 residences in Denver. [Denver Firefighters Museum]
  • On  May 5, 1906, fire destroyed the four-story warehouse of the Denver Transit and Warehouse Company on Wynkoop Street in Denver and "an immense quantity of valuable merchandise." [Weekly Courier, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On Feb 9, 1907, a late night fire broke out at the Club Building on Arapahoe Street, Denver. Flames were confined to the Denver skirt company on the sixth floor of the eight-story building.  "Theatre crowds flocked to the scene which was spectacular to the extreme, seven engines being on duty and the firemen doing valiant work from lofty ladders." the Aspen Daily Times reported. [Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]  
  • On April 9, 1907, the Mancos Opera House burned at Mancos, Colorado. [] 
  • On April 10, 1907, while chopping a hole in a roof with an ax, a fireman named Bosman accidentally amputated the hand of a fireman named Deutsch at the servants quarters of the Grand Hotel in Durango, Colorado. [Telluride Daily Journal, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On Aug. 7, 1907, a spectacular fire destroyed the Golden Cycle Mining Company reduction plant in the foothills south of Colorado Springs. [Spokesman-Review newspaper of Spokane Washington] The mill was described as "the largest cyanide plant in the West." Firemen were handicapped by a lack of water and equipment. Their efforts were described as "heroic." The fire also consumed 37 freight cars. Flames were visible "from all parts" of Colorado Springs.
  • On Aug. 10.1907, fire and explosion in Boulder killed volunteer firemen Roy La Favre and Issac O. Wilson. [New York Times, Aug. 11, 1907]
  • On Aug. 11, 1907, fire destroyed the C.G. Illings grain elevator, lumber and coal sheds in Julesburg, Colorado. The fire was caused by a spark from a passing locomotive. [Park County Bulletin, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection] 
  • On Dec. 25, 1907, fire destroyed the Rio Grande depot at Alamosa, Colorado. [Salida Mail, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • 1908: Fire at theater at Manhattan Beach amusement park in Denver. []
  • On Sept. 8, 1908, fire destroyed the Belmont Hotel at 1723 Stout Street in Denver, killing five people. many jumped for their lives. Patrick Treadwell, a visiting fireman from Cripple Creek, Colorado, was credited with helping several people escape. Treadwell "saved at least ten lives by inducing entrapped guests to jump from the upper story windows across a five-foot alley to the roof of an adjoining building and catching them in his arms," according to a dispatch. [New York Times] The hotel was three stories high. At least two of the fatalities, jumped from the hotel.
  • On Oct. 21, 1908, fire broke out on the upper level of the Hungarian mills at Seventh and Wazee streets, Denver. Flames were beyond the reach of hose lines and roared out a control an hour after the first alarm was sounded. All of the city's fire apparatus was in use at the height of the blaze. [Herald Democrat, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection] 
  • On March 9, 1909, fire destroyed five buildings in the business section of Granada, Colorado, which at the time had no fire apparatus. "For a time the entire city was threatened," a newspaper dispatch said. [Nevada State Journal of Reno] 
  • On May 24, 1909, fire damaged the Blanchard Hotel in Denver. The four-story hotel was located at 15th and Welton streets. [Herald Democrat, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]  
  • On June 16, 1909, Denver was plunged into darkness when a boiler exploded at the power plant of the Denver Gas and Electric Co. at Sixth and Curtis streets. "So terrific was the explosion that the heavy boiler was thrown high into the air. It crashed through the roof of the plant and completely wrecked the generator and roof and walls," a dispatch said. "The electric lights were cut off for more than two hours and the city was in darkness." [Mansfield Daily Shield of Ohio 6/16/09] Four people were killed immediately. Several others were injured. Ill-fated Boiler No. 17, located on the Curtis street side of the plant, was estimated to have been airborne for 20 seconds, rocketing to an altitude of 1,659 feet. It came to rest 175 feet from its original location. The boiler was being brought back on line after repairs to brickwork ordered by a city inspector. The machine provided 400-horse power, was of water-tube construction and designated a "safety boiler." [The Locomotive, trade publication of Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., 7/1909]
  • On July 28, 1909, the La Junta Opera House burned in La Junta, Colorado. []

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.