Tuesday, November 15, 2016

GRAND JUNCTION

Photo: Grand Junction Fire Dept. Facebook

Grand Junction firemen at the ready, circa 1915

The Grand Junction Fire Department was organized in 1883 with a corps of volunteers, according to the Museums of Western Colorado. In 1889, the Cameron Hose Cart Company established its quarters at City Hall at 5th and Colorado. The first paid firemen were hired in 1902.

COAL CHUTE



Photo: Colorado Springs Fire Dept. 

Members of the Colorado Springs Fire Department dubbed their unique, side-paneled pumper "Coal Chute" for its ladder mount over the hose bed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

MILLER HOTEL - 1969


Photo: Denver Fire. Dept.


On Feb. 8, 1969, a three-alarm fire destroyed the Miller Hotel at 1126 17th St., Denver. 


The alarm came in at 3:50 p.m.

According to an article by b
y Assistant Chief Gregory Taft:

Numerous rescues were performed, and a portion of the 4th floor collapsed onto 17th Street. Four residents and one firefighter were hospitalized for injuries. The building was a total loss, and the residents lost everything, including the oldest resident, age 82, who had lived in the hotel for 34 years.
 

The Denver Fire Department contended with three simultaneous three-alarm fires that day.

The others were at Carney Lumber Co. and  Empire Roofing Co.

Friday, August 19, 2016

THOMAS HYDER - 1928


On Aug. 22, 1928, Denver Fire Dept. Pumper 21 collided with a coal truck at Virginia Avenue and South Clarkson Street, killing Thomas M. Hyder, 29, the pumper's driver. T
hree other firefighters were injured. The driver of the coal truck was also injured and said he didn't see or hear Pumper 21 until he was in the intersection, according to historical research by Assistant Chief Gregory Taft posted on the fire department's Facebook page.
 

LADDER DRILL


Photo: Greeley Fire Dept.
Greeley Fire Dept. ladder drill - 1962

FIREHOUSE MURDER


Yee Geow, the assailant 

On Sept. 10, 1920, John S. Federhen, 30, a member of the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Fire Department, was shot to death inside the city fire station by a Chinese man fleeing an immigration official.

Federal agent Thomas Holland, 48, was also wounded and died about a week later.

The assailant, Yee Geow, was executed by hanging on 
March 11, 1921.

FIREMAN MURDERED AND TOM HOLLAND DANGEROUSLY WOUNDED BY CHINAMAN; SLAYER CAPTURED AT FIRE STATION

John S. Federhen, 30, veteran of the world war and member of the Cheyenne fire department, was murdered, and Thomas Holland, 48, agent of the department of justice, was perhaps mortally wounded, by Yee Geow, 23, Chinese, at 4:40 o'clock Friday afternoon. The murderer was captured immediately and is in the Laramie county jail. The shooting of Holland took place on Pioneer avenue just north of the city fire station, and that of Federhen inside the station, into which Geow pursued W.R. Mansfield, inspector for the immigration service, with the intention of murdering him. Mansfield escaped unharmed and assisted Fire Lieutenant Charles Kammerer in arresting the Chinese.

Mansfield, who is the chief immigration inspector for this district, arrived from Denver Thursday. Yesterday he and Holland, local agent of the department of justice, as is done periodically, made the rounds of local Chinese establishments for the purpose of checking up the inmates at a Chinese laundry on Pioneer avenue, near Lincoln Way, they found Geow, a youthful Chinese of such slight proportions that they assumed him to be merely a boy, and Mansfield made inquiries regarding him of the other Chinese present. One of these informed him that the stranger was a cousin of Yee Dow, who is a kind of head man of the local Chinese colony.

While the inquiries were being made Geow, who previously had given no intimation that he understood what Mansfield was talking about, suddenly leaped to his feet and fled into an adjoining room. Mansfield gave chase and after passing through two rooms cornered the Chinese in a toilet. Geow for a time declined to leave the toilet, but eventually did so.

In the meantime Yee Dow appeared on the scene, denied that Geow was related to him and informed Mansfield that the youth was without papers showing him to be entitled to be in the United States. Dow expressed the opinion that Geow was in this country illegally.

Geow at this manifested a knowledge of English and asserted that he rightfully was in the United States. He made no protest when informed that he must accompany the officers to the sheriff's office for investigation. His appearance was so youthful and his demeanor too meek that it does appear to have occurred to either Mansfield or Holland to search him for weapons.

Mansfield. Holland and the prisoner started for the sheriff's office, Dow accompanying them. Holland walked ahead with the prisoner and Mansfield, who was conversing with Dow regarding Geow and total Chinese matters, gradually fell back until he and Dow perhaps were thirty feet behind Holland and the prisoner when the Pioneer avenue fire station was reached.

Just north of the station, Mansfield stated, he was startled by the sound of a shot. Looking ahead, he saw Holland in a half stooping position, with one hand pressed against his leg, and the Chinese backing away, revolver in hand. At that moment Holland made a lunge at the Chinese and the latter fired a second shot then turned and made straight for Mansfield, firing at the latter. The bullet missed Mansfield and the officer, who was unarmed, leaped into the open door of the fire station and ran toward the rear. Geow pursued and Mansfield ran past the fire-fighting machinery and into a lounging room where Federhen and Charles Kisselback, members of the fire department, were playing cards while James Cole, also a fireman, looked on.

Mansfield states that as he ran through the room he shouted a warning that he was pursued by a man who was attempting to shoot him. The three firemen, it appears from the somewhat conflicting accounts of what took place, attempted to get through one door, into the main room of the fire station, while Mansfield took refuge in a small room adjacent to that in which the card game had been in progress, slamming the door behind him. Geow ran through the door into the room where the game had been in progress, gun in hand, and, having lost sight of Mansfield, fired and Federhen dropped at the door's threshold. Kisselback stumbled over the body of his friend and that fact perhaps saved his life, a bullet fired at him by the Chinese grazing his body as he stumbled.

Geow, holding his revolver in readiness, walked past the prostrate Federhen and toward the front doors, of the building. Newell Bell, veteran driver, who was at the rear of the building when the shooting began and who had hastened inside to see what was the cause of the noise, observed the Chinese and shouted at him;

'"What's going on here? Drop that gun!"

Geow turned toward Bell, his revolver held in both hands and pointed toward the floor, and seemingly from nervousness discharged the weapon, the bullet entering the floor at his feet. He then threw his arms above his head, casting the revolver aside, and did not resist when grasped by Bell.

At that moment Fire Lieutenant Charles Kamrnerer, who also had been at the rear of the building, arrived on the run and also grasped the Chinese, Mansfield emerged from the room in which he had taken refuge and he and Kammerer immediately rushed the prisoner to the sheriff's office, two blocks distant, this prompt action possibly preventing the murderer meeting summary vengeance from friends of the slain fireman and wounded officer.

As Kammerer and Mansfield with the prisoner between them passed Holland, the latter, who had not fallen when wounded, was easing himself into a prone position on the slanting approach leading from the sidewalk into Reed Hollister's motorcycle shop.

"Did he get you, Tom?" asked Mansfield.

"Yes, he got me." Holland responded, and collapsed until he lay on his side in the doorway.

Perhaps ten minutes elapsed before an ambulance arrived to carry the wounded Holland to the hospital. Meanwhile Police Sergeant Jack McFarland and volunteer assistants had difficulty in keeping the curious crowd from clustering so closely about the wounded man that there was danger that he might be trampled underfoot. Holland. who was conscious and suffering keenly, made no sound and patiently awaited the arrival of the ambulance, into which he was lifted with difficulty, because of his great weight, by Sergeant McFarland, Undersheriff Lon C. Davis and others. Immediately after the arrival at the hospital he was placed on the operating table.

Meanwhile Dr. J. H. Conway had arrived at the fire station and was ministering to Federhen. The surgeon found that the bullet had passed through the fireman's body just above the heart and that the wound almost certainly was a mortal one. Federhen was placed in a fire truck and, with the physician accompanying him, was rushed to St. John's hospital. He died enroute, but that fact was not ascertained until after he had been carried into the institution. As his body was being carried out it was passed by the stretcher-bearers who were carrying the wounded Holland into the hospital.

Dr. Conway immediately gave attention to Holland on the latter's arrival at the hospital and decided that an operation must be performed. Assisted by Dr. J. T. Henneberry, he operated, the surgeons finding that one bullet had struck Holland just to the right of the naval and had ranged downward, penetrating one loop of the intestines and the bladder and lodging just beneath the skin low down on the buttocks. The other bullet passed through the calf of the officer's left leg, the wound which it inflicted being inconsequential in comparison with that through the body. The operation was an extremely difficult one because of the obesity of the patient and Holland was on the operating table approximately two hours. He emerged from the ordeal in remarkably good condition and may have an even chance for recovery.

Wyoming State Tribune, Sept. 11, 1920


TOM HOLLAND EXPIRES AFTER WEEK'S FIGHT

Cheyenne Detective Succumbs to Gunshot Wounds Inflicted by Chinaman—Funeral to be Held Sunday

Thomas Holland, who was shot down last Friday by Yee Geow, a Chinaman, near the Cheyenne fire station, died at 2 a. m. today from the result of the wounds.

The deceased was born in Fort Collins. Colo., September 15, 1871 and was 49 years old last Wednesday. He was the elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Holland, highly respected Cheyenne pioneers, who passed away only a few years ago. The Hollands came to this city in 1876 and Tom entered the Cheyenne schools. When a young man he became a fireman on the Union Pacific and was promoted to engineer about 1893. He acted in a similar capacity on the Colorado & Southern railroad running north out of the city.

Former Fire Chief

In 1903 he was a member of the Cheyenne police department, serving about three years. He was a member of the old Cheyenne volunteer fire department, and its chief from 1908 until 1910, when the department was taken over by the city and placed upon a salary basis.

Mr. Holland then organized the Cheyenne Detective bureau, which he has conducted ever since, and in recent years had acted as a special representative of the department of justice, in which work he was engaged when shot by the Chinaman, who was technically under arrest for entering the United States without passports.

Funeral Sunday

Tom Holland was a member of the Elks' lodge and the Knights of Pythias. He was a man of pleasing disposition and made many friends and no enemies. He leaves no immediate relatives except a younger brother, Alvin Holland, who resides in the old home on Van Lennen street.

The funeral will be held at the Elks' home, probably at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon.

The following jurors have been summoned by Judge Edwards to sit in the inquest over the body, at the mortuary of Early-Bricker brothers. Friday afternoon at 4 o'clock: William Dinneen, J. F. Jenkins and William Hoshaw.

Drs. Henneberry and Conway held an autopsy upon the body Friday morning.


Wyoming State Tribune, Sept. 17, 1920


Dead Fireman Was Known By Sight To Many Local Folks


John S. Federhen Carried Marion Jeffries Down Ladder In Movie-Tom Holland Has Chance For Life


John S. Federhen, city fireman, who was shot to death by a desperate Chinese Friday afternoon, was more widely known in Cheyenne than many people who read of his tragic death were aware. Of the thousands of persons who saw the movie "The Girl from Cheyenne," or who witnessed the filming of it, many noted the fireman who carried Marion Jeffries down the ladder in the fire scene, enacting a role he might have been called to take at any time in real life. That fireman was John S. Federhen, the victim of the assassin's bullet.

The other target of Yee Geow's revolver, Tom Holland, is resting easily, and chances of his recovery are now held out. Despite the extraordinary wound he received, and the difficulty of the operation, which was accentuated by his fleshiness, he is doing as well as might be expected under such circumstances.

That John Federhen met his death as the result of wounds maliciously and feloniously inflicted by Yee Geow was the verdict of a coroner's jury Saturday morning. After examining the evidence presented to them, the jury decided that the Chinaman shot without provocation, and at a time when his mind was presumably free to knowledge of the nature of his act. The testimony of the witnesses all agreed on this phase of occurence.

Relatives of the dead man, who live at Springfield, Ill., were notified of the tragedy Friday night, and they replied with a telegram Saturday morning, requesting that his body be sent to that city for burial.



Cheyenne State Leader, 
Sept. 12, 1920

Monday, July 11, 2016

CHEMISTRY BUILDING - 1921

Photo: Colorado State University archives

On Dec. 22, 1921, fire destroyed the chemistry building at Colorado State University in Fort Collins as  l
ow water pressure prevented firefighters from attacking the blaze.


The building was in flames when the alarmed was turned in from Box 81 at Laurel and College avenues at 2:30 a.m. "sharp" by C.M. Cooksie, a member of the Alpha Psi fraternity, the Fort Collins Courier reported.

All that was left was "a mass of smoldering ruins," the newspaper said.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

TURNER HALL - 1920


Photo: Colorado Public Library
On July 14, 1920, a wall collapsed during a fire at East Turner Hall at 20th and Arapahoe streets in Denver. The blaze damaged the Scott Automobile Body Company, seven residences and a printing shop, according to Fire and Water Engineering magazine.

CRANFORD HALL - 1949


On March 6, 1949, an arson fire damaged Cranford Hall at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. The building housed the school's theater department.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ALAMOSA DEPOT - 1907

On Christmas Day 1907, fire destroyed the Rio Grande rail depot at Alamosa, Colorado, the Salida Mail reported. The fire made significant headway before the alarm was sounded. Flames were  "so fierce that the local fire department was entirely unable to make successful combat," the newspaper said.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

FIRE PREVENTION


Fort Collins firefighters post Fire Prevention Week signs from bed of 1938 Diamond-T rural engine in October 1950.

Photo: Poudre Valley Fire Authority

FEDERAL BOULEVARD - 1928


On Oct. 12, 1928, Denver firemen William Barber, Richard Schwairy and Silas Briggs were killed when Pumper 7 and Truck 12 collided at 42nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard. Four others were injured.

Photo: Denver Fire Dept.

McPHEE & McGINNITY - 1935

McPhee & McGinnity: On May 23, 1935, fire struck the prominent Denver lumber, paint and building supply company.

Photo
: Private Collection

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

OPERA HOUSE - 1922


Photo: gendisasters.com

Photo: Pueblo City County Library District

Photo: Pueblo City County Library District

Fire and ice took a toll in Pueblo on March 1, 1922, when flames destroyed the city's Grand Opera House.

T
he temperature was 22 degrees below zero when the alarm rang in at 1:15 a.m. for Fourth and Main streets.

A party had been held at the opera house the evening before, it was reported.

According to the Pueblo Fire Museum:

"
Three alarms were turned in by 1:30, bringing every piece of equipment the fire dept. had and fireman they could find.

"It burned its way to the scenery loft above the stage, and soon the falling and flaming scenery drapes ignited the stage.

"By 1:50, the roof had collapsed." 

The museum also said:

"The frigid temperatures froze hoses to the ground, and two firemen ended up with frostbite.

"After the fire was out, they had to pull the frozen hoses behind the trucks back to the fire station to thaw out, before they were able to wash and hang the hose."

"They fought the fire from the Federal Building and Post Office across the alley, pulling hoses up the interior of the building, stationing two in windows and one hose line on the roof."

According to the Pueblo County Historical Society, the op
era house opened in October 1890 with a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Iolanthe.” 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

LAKESIDE - 1911


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, according to the Aspen Democrat-Times, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.

Wikipedia says the fire also destroyed The Glide.
 
    

Sunday, March 20, 2016

SOUTH PLATTE - 1965




Photo : westword.com

Photo: Denver Post blog
 
Stranded engines at 64th Ave. and Logan St. in Denver


On June 16, 1965, the South Platte River flooded. Devastation struck Denver and beyond after several days of record rain. Two dozen people died statewide.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

PARCO - 1927

Photo: wyohistory.org

On April 6, 1927, a fire and explosion rocked the 
Producers and Refiners oil refinery in the company town of Parco, Wyoming.

Parco is now known as Sinclair, Wyoming.

...

Parco, Wyo., April 6. -- (AP) -- At least seventeen men were killed early today when an explosion occurred in the Producers and Refiners oil refining plant here.
One man was missing shortly before noon and was believed to have died in the blast and subsequent fire which caused damage of $500,000 to the refinery.
Explosion Felt Seven Miles.
The explosion rocked this unique oil town, laid out only a few years ago by FRANK E. KISTLER, head of the Parco organization, on model architectural lines, and the detonation was felt in Rawlins, seven miles West.
The disaster was caused by the explosion of a chamber in a high pressure still which set fire to nine other stills and two storage tanks. The fire still was burning late this morning but was under control.
Bodies Taken From Plant.
Sixteen bodies have been taken from the plant. Fourteen of them were identified.
The identified dead were:
JOHN PAUL PALMER, thirty.
FRANK TAYLOR, thirty.
W. W. DODD, forty-two.
FREDERICK JESEMER, twenty-seven.
F. C. SPEYER, forty-nine.
ALBERT SMITH, twenty-five.
VICTORY NICKERSON, thirty-five.
CLARENCE POSEY, twenty-seven.
VICTORIANO MONTOYA, thirty-seven.
ORCELO MARTINEZ, thirty-six.
E. R. WELSH, thirty-two.
G. G. TURPIN, twenty-six.
R. N. SHERMAN, missing.
H. O. EBY, missing.
Victims All Leave Families.
GEORGE EVANS CURRY and ARTHUR AYALA were believed to be fatally burned. They are in a Rawlins hospital, as are P. L. WELSH, CALVIN SMITH, GEORGE BYRON POLK, who were severely burned and SMITH died late this afternoon.

All of the men who were killed were married and most of them had to three children.

Reno Evening Gazette,  April 6, 1927

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

DURANGO - 1974

Photo: Animas Museum
On Aug. 24, 1974, Durango firefighter Nick Parks III and police Corporal Gale Emerson died when wall collapsed at a raging fire on Main Avenue, according to the Associated Press and Durango Herald. "The whole thing came down without warning," said an official quoted by the AP. Six buildings were destroyed; a seventh was damaged.

LAKE COUNTY

Photo: Lake County geneaology website 
Fire at Lake County Courthouse, Leadville, Colorado; date unknown

Monday, March 14, 2016

YELLOWSTONE - 1988

Photo: National Park Service
That's a lot of bull! Bison passes engines at Yellowstone National Park - 1988 

Photo: Jeff Henry/Yellowstone National Park digital archive [in public domain]
Watering down Old Faithful complex at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming - 1988

Firefighters water down Old Faithful Inn - 1988

In 1988, the largest wildfire in the recorded history of Yellowstone National Park scorched 1 million acres in Wyoming and Montana. Starting as individual fires, the flames - fueled by winds and drought - merged into a conflagration that burned for weeks. On Sept. 8, 1988, the entire park was closed to all but fire crews for the first time.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

DENVER GAS & ELECTRIC - 1909

Photos: The Locomotive


In the 1800s and into the early 1900s, boiler explosions were a common occurrence.

Across the U.S., there were 499 boiler explosions reported in 1911, accounting for 222 deaths and 416 injuries, according to statistics from the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. as reported by the Journal of The Cleveland Engineering Society, May 1913.

Colorado wasn't immune.


A boiler blast at the Gumry Hotel in downtown Denver led to a collapse and fire that killed 22 people in 1895, and an explosion at a steel plant in Pueblo claimed several more lives in 1911.

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.

A dispatch in that day's Daily Shield of Mansfield, Ohio said:

"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. ... 
The electric lights were cut off for more than two hours and the city was in darkness."

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," according to The Locomotive, trade publication of Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., July 1909.

UNION DEPOT - 1894


The Ruins

In 1881, Denver's Union Depot replaced four rail stations, combining various operations and simplifying transfers. Sadly, a fire swept the depot on March 22, 1894.

"
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," a newspaper account said.

"It seemed to the spectator of the lurid scene as though it was but the burning of a toy paper house."

The loss, perhaps, wouldn't have been as great had the alarm been sounded sooner.

"The employees attempted to put out the fire and did not call the department promptly," the newspaper, the Fairplay Flume, reported.

The current Union Station opened in 1914.
 

BLACK HILLS - 2004


Photo
: Gary C. Chancey, USDA Forest Service

Firefighter Seth Tuuri, of the Black Hills National Forest Bearlodge Ranger District, battles a structure fire near Aladdin, Wyoming, in 2004.

COLORADO SPRINGS - 1898



On Oct. 1, 1898, fire raged in Colorado Springs and The Kansas City Journal reported:


ANTLERS IN RUINS.

COLORADO SPRINGS FAMOUS HOSTELRY BURNED.

ENTIRE CITY WAS THREATENED.

STRIP FOUR BLOCKS LONG AND TWO WIDE FIRESWEPT.

LOSS ESTIMATED AT A MILLION DOLLARS -- HELP FROM DENVER AND
PUEBLO SAVED THE CITY -- FIRE WAS FANNED BY A TERRIFIC GALE.

Colorado Springs, Col., Oct. 1. -- This city had a visitation of fire this afternoon which threatened for four hours to destroy the entire business district. The wind was blowing at the rate of forty-five miles an hour from the southwest when the fire started, at the Denver & Rio Grande freight depot, at the foot of Cucheras Street, at 2:10 p.m., and the flames spread with great rapidity.

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.

The Antlers Hotel, one of the largest in the West, the lumber yards and two blocks of business houses were destroyed. In round numbers the loss is estimated at $1,000,000, insured for one-half that amount. The losses estimated are as follows:

Antlers Hotel, $350,000.
Newton Lumber Company, $60,000.
El Paso Lumber Company, $35,000.
Irvine & Sons, blacksmith, $2,000.
Denver & Rio Grando railroad, $30,000.
Gulf Depot, $5,000.
Home Hotel, $3,500.
General losses of business firms and individuals not enumerated, $465,000.

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.

The cans were thrown for hundreds of feet, and the wonder is that nobody was injured. Then came the terrible danger to the city. Great chunks of fire were scattered about, and in a few moments the Crissey & Fowler lumber yards, 500 feet away, were burning. The wind was sweeping a perfect hurricane. The flames rushed through the lumber yards and burned all the light frame buildings in the block. Then they leaped across the street and burned the El Paso Lumber Company and the paint establishment of Sperry & Tuckerman. A few minutes after the Newton lumber yards caught.

For a time after this, it looked as if the Antlers might be saved, but the heat was too great. There was not water enough to send a stream half way up the building. At 4 o'clock, it was burning on the south end and the famous hotel was doomed.

The colored employes of the hostelry showed great intrepidity in climbing out of the upper windows in the face of an infernal heat and pouring water upon the fire through a small hose. They left their posts only after the heat became positively unbearable.

Down below, the firemen were also directing streams upon the buildings, but the water pressure had become so reduced that the streams were of little effect. The contour of the buildings, the upper stories of which were of wood, served to make a succession of smoke-stacks along the sides, and it was but a few moments until the smoke and flames were leaping from nearly every window

The building stood for a long time against the tremendous heat. The flames rose higher and higher, and soon the wood works burned away from them. Here and there blue flames shot up where the copper cornices caught fire. It took about two hours for the hotel to burn, and it made a tremendous hot fire. The walls began to fall after the building had been burning perhaps an hour, and they went down with a tremendous roar.

The smoke-stacks remained for quite a long time, and some of them are standing yet.

The Antlers annex was quickly in flames, and went up rapidly.

Two or three explosions were heard while the Antlers was burning and these are supposed to have come from the boilers. All of the Antlers people, from the engineers to the bell boys, stayed at their posts until they could stay no longer.

At 6 o'clock all that was left of the once beautiful Antlers was a mass of blazing debris. Thousands gazed upon it with sorrow and regret, as it was universally conceded to be the chief ornament of the town.

The Antlers was a beautiful six story building owned by the Colorado Springs Hotel Company, in which General Palmer was heavily interested. The lessee proper was E. Burnett. The building was insured for $200,000, and the furniture, valued at $37,500, was insured for $31,500. The building and its contents are almost a total loss. The hotel will be rebuilt.
|
There were several guests in the hotel, including a number of invalids, but all were gotten out in safety and taken to comfortable quarters.

The Union Pacific and Denver & Gulf railroad passenger depot on Huerfano Street, was burned, but the other railroad passenger stations were unharmed.

 While the big fires were burning several small ones broke out through the city, destroying several residences, and threw people into consternation.

 The limits of the burned district are the Denver & Rio Grande railroad on the west, Cascade Avenue on the east, Pike's Peak Avenue on the north and Cucharas Street on the south.

Among the business houses burned out are the following:
McFarland & Hills, blacksmiths.
Irving & Sons, blacksmiths.
Silver Moon Restaurant.
Kelly Coal Company.
Felix Americano.
Bloom, tailor.
Dietz, blacksmith.
John Kline, painter.
Bartlett, blacksmith.
Creamer & Jordan, blacksmiths.
Maskowitz, clothing.
A. Shapiro, clothing.
J. M. Holliwen, shoemaker.
S. K. Kline, jewelry.
Marlow Bros., confectionery.
Campbell feed store.
Second-hand store.
Restaurant and grocery next to the Gulf depot.
Salvation Army hall.
Columbia Clothing Company.
Seldomridge warehouse.

Their losses range from $500 to $5,000 each. Ten partly loaded freight cars on the tracks are burned.

Several arrests have been made tonight of persons suspected of starting or attempting to start fresh fires, but there is no question that the first fire, at the Denver & Rio Grande freight house, was entirely accidental, possibly being caused by a spark from a locomotive.

PUEBLO - 1953


Photo
: Pueblo Fire Museum

On Aug. 29, 1953, flames devoured the Central Block in Pueblo, Colorado. O.G. Pope, 88, an attorney who had an office and apartment in the building, was the sole fatality. As the building crumbled, "We started running fast. Don't know where, just fast," said C.C. Wood, a Pueblo fire captain.

Other major fires in Pueblo:
  • Feb. 22, 1915 - Holmes Hardware Company, one of the largest hardware stores in the state.
  • March 1, 1922 - Grand Opera House Fire. The temperature was 22 degrees below zero when the call came in at 1:15 a.m.
  • Oct. 24, 2007 - Pueblo Ice & Cold Storage Fire. The 20,000 square-foot facility was engulfed when the alarm came in at 12:07 a.m.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

CARDINAL MINE - 1925


On Dec. 4-5, 1925, Denver firefighters helped rescue 32 miners trapped by a fire at the Fairview Mining Co. gold, silver and led mine located near Nederland.

The City of Bolder also sent firefighters to the Cardinal Mine camp in Boulder County.

Hampered by three feet of snow and winds reaching 40 MPH, rescue crews drilled an emergency mine through "40 feet of rock and earth."

The fire started in a compressor room. A wall of flames burned timbers at the mine's entrance, blocking access.

Miner William Bryant (or Billy Bryce) was burned when he attempted to enter the portal.

The miners were working at the 800-foot level when the fire broke out.

Rescuers faced harsh conditions and m
any took a beating.

John Crenshaw (sic), a Denver fire captain, was seriously overcome by fumes, Denver Fire Chief John Healy said.

Clarence Jansen, a Denver fire lieutenant, was pulled to the surface in a "semi-conscious state" after he had given his gas mask to the crippled fire captain.

Donning smoke masks, the Boulder firefighters entered the main entrance to battle the flames.

"Pulomotors," a forerunner of today's resuscitation equipment, were "held in readiness" for the trapped miners, and a temporary hospital was established at a bunkhouse.

Half of the trapped miners were brought out unconscious.

The others walked out with assistance.

Editor's Note: This story is based on Associated Press dispatches printed in The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, the Prescott Evening Courier of Arizona, the Telegraph-Herald of Dubuque, Iowa, and The Evening Record of Ellensburg, Washington.

See also Longmont Daily Times

CRIPPLE CREEK - 1896


From Legends of America

On April 25, 1896, a lovers' quarrel triggered a conflagration in the Wild West, boom-town of Cripple Creek, Colorado.


Firefighters resorted to using dynamite to topple buildings to check the flames.


In the end, much of the city was gone and thousands were without shelter.


Here is the story:


"Started in one of the many brothels, a dance hall girl named Jennie Larue, got into an argument with her lover and while quarreling, accidentally upset a gasoline stove.


"The wooden frame buildings of the camp quickly ignited and spread from one building to the next.

"Buildings in the fire’s path were blown up in an effort to stop the approaching flames.


"The fire departments of Victor, Florence, Colorado Springs and Denver dashed to the city’s aid but there was little that could be done.


"Four days later, half of the city lay in smoldering ruins, when a second fire alarm went off.


"This fire began in the Portland Hotel on Myers Avenue and was believed to have been deliberately set because other fires were discovered simultaneously in other parts of the city.


"In this second fire, eight blocks of buildings were consumed, six lives were lost and nearly four thousand residents were left homeless.

"When it was all said and done, less than ten buildings were left to mark the site of the city.


"The firebugs who were suspected of setting the second fire were lynched
."