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


  • On March 8, 1910, fire destroyed Griffin Wheel Co. plant in Denver. [Montrose Daily Press, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On May 30, 1910, fire gutted the fourth and fifth floors of the Spratlen-Anderson grocery wholesalers, 1638 Fifteenth St., Denver. "More than a score of firemen and volunteers were overcome by smoke, several having narrow escapes," the Yampa Leader newspaper said in its June 3 edition. The flames broke out in store rooms used by the International Harvester Company. [Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection]
  • On Nov. 11, 1910, fire destroyed the McMurty Manufacturing Co. paint plant in Denver. [Aspen Democrat-Times, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection] 
  • In March 1911, a boiler explosion at the Minnequa steel plant of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Co. in Pueblo killed three men and injured five others. The boiler was located in the rod mill. [The New Era of Parker, South Dakota, 3/24/1911]
  • Editor's Note: Boilers posed many hazards in late 19th century and early 20th century. In 1911, there were 499 boiler explosions reported in the U.S., accounting for 222 deaths and 416 injuries, according to statistics from the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. [Journal of The Cleveland Engineering Society, 5/1913]  
  • On Sept. 20, 1911, an incendiary fire damaged a macaroni and noodle factory in Denver. [Steamboat Pilot, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On Nov. 14, 1911, flames fed by strong winds struck the White City amusement park at Lakeside, Colorado, outside Denver, destroying the scenic railway and adjoining North Pole attraction. Lakeside's volunteer firefighters were credited with saving the park. The Denver Fire Dept. provided mutual aid. [Aspen Democrat-Times, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]    
  •  On Jan. 8, 1912, the Grey Opera House burned in Montrose, Colorado. []
  • On Jan. 19, 1912, dynamite wrecked the Colorado Laundry and Globe Express Company in the business district of Pueblo. [Youngstown Vindicator of Ohio] The laundry was a "non-union plant."
  • On Dec. 16, 1912, flames struck a row of wooden frame buildings on Main St. in Brush, Colorado, near the railroad crossing. Mrs. Smalley's restaurant and Schuller & McKee plumbers and tinners were destroyed by flames. The Linden hotel was a total loss owing fire and water damage. Firefighters, under the direction of Chief Stephens, were credited with preventing a wider conflagration. The water supply was considered adequate. The blaze was the first first fire of consequence for Brush since the Southern Hotel.  (Wray Rattler, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection)
  • On April 11,1913, fire destroyed the Swift Block in Pueblo. Firefighters used life nets to catch residents jumping from the "furiously" burning building, the Telluride Daily Journal reported. Several people were injured, including Edith Morris (both legs broken falling from fire escape), Eva Morris, Mrs. L.W.Chase and daughter Inez, John Lewis and his wife, W.L. Logan, and Anna Griest (nearly suffocated). The fire, reported at 4 a.m., was thought to be of "incendiary origin." Considered Pueblo's worst fire since National Biscuit Co. building 12 years earlier [Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]
  • On Aug. 1, 1914, fire struck the Marrimac and Monitor building at Elitch's Gardens in Denver. Firefighters stopped flames from spreading to the Old Mill dance pavilion and two smaller concessions.  (Middle Park Times, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection)
  • On Jan. 26, 1916, a basement fire sent smoke billowing through St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver. Patients left the building via a snow-covered fire escape. Several sisters and firemen were overcome by smoke. [Telluride Daily Journal, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]   
  • In May 1916, the Lyric Opera House burned in Cripple Creek, Colorado; discarded cigarette blamed. []
  • On Dec. 17, 1916, a fire at the downtown Inter-Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, killed a family of six and destroyed the building. [Cheyenne Fire Dept.] The father was electrocuted after falling on a power line; the mother and her four sons suffocated. "When Chief E. P. Taylor arrived at the fire he found the flames shooting from the third story windows, the entire third story hall aflame," according to Fire And Water Engineering [Feb. 7, 1917]
  • On March 14, 1917, fire destroyed the Chicago & Northwestern Railway warehouse in Casper, Wyoming. The building burned to the ground in 15 minutes. [History of Natrona County, Wyoming, 1888-1922, Alfred James Mokler] 
  • On Oct. 17, 1917, fire destroyed the Union Pacific Hotel in Laramie, Wyoming. The walls collapsed. [Loveland Daily Herald, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection]  
  • 1918: Olathe Opera House burns in Olathe, Colorado.
  • On Jan. 14, 1918, in Casper, Wyoming: "Fire broke out in the plant of the Natrona Electric company and the building and machinery was almost wholly destroyed. Many of the business houses in Casper were heated by this plant and they were without heat or light except that which was furnished by the Wyoming Electric company, who connected the wires and heating plant with their system that same day, but the load was so heavy for this system that the stores and all business houses were ordered not to open before 8 o'clock in the morning and close at 5 o'clock in the evening, and use as little light as possible. One light in each residence in town was allowed to be used. Only the hospitals and newspaper offices were allowed to use the current without restriction. The lighting restrictions were lifted in the business district on Feb. 23, but it was a month later before the residence districts were allowed to use more than one light in each house." [History of Natrona County, Wyoming, 1888-1922, Alfred James Mokler]
  • On June 18, 1919, the Union Tank Line shops just west of Casper, Wyoming were destroyed by fire. [History of Natrona County, Wyoming, 1888-1922, Alfred James Mokler]
  • In October 1919, Engine 4 and Engine 6 collided at 17th and Blake streets, Denver, while responding to an alarm. One of the engines dragged a pedestrian down a sidewalk and into a storefront. Several firemen were injured.

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