Archive for the ‘Fire’ Category


Local News

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 4, 1915

Local News

Annual Meeting

The annual meeting and banquet of the Plymouth Clay Products Company will take place Tuesday evening. The traveling men and stockholders are arriving in the city today, and all will be here for tomorrow.

Changes Position

Lou Brunenkant has resigned his position with the Strow Cigar Company and has taken one with Robert Wilson at the Conway Cigar Store. Brunenkant worked in his present position when the Conway Company had the place.

In New Position

Mrs. J.M. Spayde has resigned her position at the Cozy Tea Rooms and accepted one at the Drapery Shop.

Winter in California

Mr. and Mrs. A.S.R. Reynolds leave the last of the week for California where they will spend the winter.

Small Fire Today

The fire department were called about 2:00 p.m. today to the home of F.P. Schultz, 1504 Fifth avenue north. Whent he department arrived a small fire was discovered in the basement of the house. It is thought some rubbish which was piled near the furnace caught fire from the furnace causing the people to call the fire department. The fire was easily extinguished and practically no damage was done.

Purse Snatcher at Work

A home on First avenue north was entered precipitately Saturday evening about 9:30 by Miss Sarah Gallagher, who was badly frightened by a recent encounter with a purse snatcher. She explained that she had been walking between Central avenue and First avenue north when a man ran paster her and snatched at her purse. The purse handle broke, the purse fell to the ground and the man did not turn back to get it, but disappeared down an alley, running west. Miss Gallagher recovered her purse, which she said contained about fifty dollars (about $1,135 today).


Destructive Fire at Knierim

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 4, 1904

Destructive Fire at Knierim

East Side of Main Street Swept by Flames

Loss Amounts to About $4,000 – Fire Originated in Hay Mow of a Livery Barn

The whole east side of the main street of Knierim was destroyed by fire Friday evening, causing a loss of about $4,000 ($95,798 today), partially covered by insurance.The fire originated in the haymow of the livery barn, and had broken thru the roof of that building before being noticed. Three horses were burned before they could be rescued. The fire spread rapidly to the adjoining  buildings, all of which were consumed despite the utmost efforts of the fire company. The strong wind which was blowing at the time made control of the blaze impossible.

The buildings consumed were the livery barn, belonging to John Burr, partially covered by insurance, the George Wright harness shop, fully insured and a carpenter shop. The last named building was empty.

The fire was discovered about 4:30 in the afternoon and was so far advanced that nothing could be done by the fire department.


Family Saved by Dog

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 29, 1916

Family Saved by Dog

Awakened Just in Time to Escape From Burning Home.

Manson,  March 29. – The home of Mr. Hall, who works for the Farmers’ Elevator company, was burned to the ground last Thursday morning. Nothing was saved. No one knows how the fire started but it is thought to have originated from the stove. A large chuck of coal had been put in the heater the night before and it was thought that might have pushed the stove door open and thrown out live coals.

When Mr. Hall was awakened by the whining of a pet dog the bed was on fire. He dropped the children out of the window to the ground and went back for his wife and baby. The dog had been at Mr. Hall’s heels all the time but when he got out of the house he noticed it was not there, so he started back for it but it was not to be found.

The family went to a neighbors for the night.

The people of Manson are helping them get fitted out with clothing again. The Hall family expected to leave for Canada April 1. Mr. Hall recently had traded the house in on a farm in Canada.


Humboldt Post Office Gutted

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 6, 1903

Humboldt Post Office Gutted

Explosion of Lamp Starts a Blaze Which Results Disastrously for Interior of Building

Money Orders Are Destroyed

Letters and Papers of Entire Mail are Burned. Money and Stamps Protected by Safe

Humboldt, February 7. – Money orders, letters and papers were destroyed in a fire which wrecked the interior of the postoffice (sic) building at this  place this morning. All the mail which was in the building at the time was completely destroyed and the fixtures were completely wrecked. The money and stamps were saved only on account of the fact that they were safely locked in the safe.

The fire was started thru the explosion of a kerosene lamp, which was accidentally knocked from a table while the early morning mail was being distributed. The kerosene caught fire and almost instantly the flames spread to the papers and other inflammable materials which were scattered about.

The Humboldt fire department turned out in force and save the building but not before the interior was a complete ruin.

The postoffice force were able to make their escape in safety from the burning building, but were not able to carry anything with them so rapid was the advance of the flames. Miss Pauline Metzler, one of the postoffice force, lost her overcoat and $8 ($192 today) in money.


Gasoline Brings Awful Disaster

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 24, 1906

Gasoline Brings Awful Disaster

Bartender is Almost Burned to Death

Rushes from the Colby Building a Human Torch of Flame.

5 Gallons Exploded

Acetylene Lighting Plant Exploded With the Rest

Saloon is Wrecked

Francis Cannot Survive … Lou Chapman Also Burned

Fred Francis is burned in such a manner that it is not thought possible for him to live through the day. Lou Chapman was seriously burned and the fixtures of the Colby saloon were wrecked by a gasoline explosion which occurred in the place about 6:30 this morning.

The Explosion.

Francis, as the time of this writing, is confined in the hospital unable to speak of the manner of the disastrous accident, but the most authentic accounts which can be obtained are to the effect that on opening the saloon bur business this morning, Francis, the bartender, started to light the fire with gasoline. Chapman was standing with his back to Francis, who was pouring gasoline from a five gallon can into the stove. The first that he knew of the explosion was when he was nearly knocked off his feet by a shock which struck him in the back. He rushed out of the rear door with his clothes partly on fire where he was caught by a couple of hackmen and the fire extinguished.

Francis a Living Torch.

Jake Schmoll, from the window of his saloon across the street from Colby’s was an eye witness to the burning of Francis. He says that he happened to be looking out the window and saw a blinding sheet of flame leap out of the front of the Colby building. An instant late (sic) Francis ran shrieking out of the doorway, a living torch. With flames darting about his body and enveloping him form head to foot he turned form the door of the saloon and started into the livery barn. He was about to rush down into the basement where the horses are kept when oneof (sic) the men called frantically to him to stop. He turned then, apparently wild with fright and ran out door (sic) again. He tripped just outside the door and fell on the sidewalk.

Two men with blankets were on him in an instant trying to smother the flames. The first blanket that they attempted to wrap him in burned in their very hands. With the second they succeeded in stifling the flames and Francis, naked except for his shoes, his body blackened with smoke and a mass of burns from head to foot was carried to the hospital.

Firemen Do Quick Work.

The efforts of the firemen who were on the scene in record time probably saved the entire Colby block from destruction. After the gasoline can in the hands of Francis exploded, the interior of the saloon was soon a mass of flames. Just as the fire wagon turned Sackett and Haire’s corner the acetylene lighting plant blew up. They state that they distinctly saw a sheet of flame shoot out of the entire front of the building a distance of fifteen or twenty feet, blowing out the plate glass windows and the glass in the door. They expected to have hard work in saving the livery barn, but after an hour of fire fighting extinguished the last spark, the flames and smoke having ruined nothing but the fixtures and the interior of the saloon. The damage in this quarter will be about five hundred dollars ($11,975 today). It is covered by insurance.

Death of Francis Hourly Expected.

Francis is in a most pitiable condition at the hospital. His body is a mass of burns and he is suffering great pain. The doctors state that he cannot recover and that his death may be expected at any moment. Chapman’s burns are confined to his back and hands. Physicians state that he will be able to be about in a few days.

An examination of the Colby saloon gives a good idea of the force of the explosion. Pieces of plate glass are found scattered out in the stret (sic) a disetance (sic) of ten or fifteen feet where they were thrown when the windows were blown out and the entire front of the building seems to have been shaken.

A give gallon gasoline can was found inside, a twisted broken mass of metal, and the can used to contain the gasoline used in the lighting plant was found to be in a similar condition. It is supposed that the lighting plant caught fire and blew up when the interior became enveloped in flames, from the first explosion.

Francis is a man about forty-five years of age. He has lived in Fort Dodge for a number of years. He has several children living in this city, all of whome are well known. Chapman lives at 505 Central Avenue. He has been imployed as a hack driver by Colby Brothers for about a year.

Accident Teaches Lesson.

Though it seems unnessary (sic) to say anything on the dangers attendant to t he use of gasoline, particularly if it is used carelessly, yet the accident above described seems to warrant a few words on the subject. Gasoline at best if a dangerous compound. Unless the utmost care along many lines is used, one knows not the hour or the instant that death and deconstruction may break forth through its agenty.

Acetylene lighting systems seem also to be dangerous things to handle, and in the case this morning the greatest damage resulted was through the explosion of the lighting plant.

Superintendent Clark of the Light and Power company examined the tank in which the gasoline and compressed air for such a plant is kept, immediately after the accident this morning. He states that he measured the thickness of the iron and found it to be 1-33 of an inch, and of poor quality English iron. Experiment tables show that iron of this kind in such thickness is made to stand a pressure on the head of the tank of 1,250 pounds, whereas, to get a strong light, a pressure of 15,000 is needed. This makes a pressure of seven tons against a surface which is meant to withstand only about one half of a ton.

He states that in cities where an engineer is employed to inspect lights, factories and machinery, such appliances are not allowed within the city limits, and further that the same pressure is placed staging that thin sheet 1-32 of an inch in thickness that is withstood in the tanks of the Light and Power Co., which are a full inch thick, made of the best quality of cold drawn steel and stamped by a government inspector.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 26, 1906

Fred Francis Dies From Burns

Man Injured in Colby Saloon Explosion Succumbs to His Injuries.

Death Came at 4.30 Yesterday

No Chance for Recovery From the State – Funeral Occurs Tomorrow – Deceased Leaves Four Children – Three Live Here

Fred Francis, the bartender at Colby Bros. saloon, who was the victim of one of the most appalling accidents of recent years in Fort Dodge yesterday morning, when the explosion of a five gallon can of gasoline enveloped him in a fiery furnace from head to foot, died at the  hospital about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, after nearly ten hours of suffering.

Burned From Head to Foot.

Francis was in a most pitiable condition when taken from the scene of the tragedy. It is almost impossible to gain a correct idea of the extent of his injuries. His body was burned from head to foot. His hair and beard were singed from his head, and when the flames were finally stifled the only part of his clothing that remained upon his body consisted of his shoes. A grewsome (sic) object which shows only too well the awful nature of his burns was found near the Colby barn about eight o’clock. It was nothing less than the skin and flesh of the inside of his left hand, containing intact several of his finger nals and of nearly a half inch in thickness.

Recovery impossible.

The doctors i (sic) attendance stated from the first that there was absolutely no hope for his recovery and that at the best it would not be possible for him to live more than a few days. Francis was conscious from the first, but immediately on his removal to the hospital was kept under the influence of anaesthetics (sic). All day long the nurses and physicians administered to him, seeking to allay his agony and striving to keep alive the spark of life.

Francis did not at any time realize how badly he was injured and those in attendance hesitate to tell him that he was doomed to death. He kept saying, “I’ll be all right in a few days,” and during his talking told in full how the accident happened. He stated that he was lighting the fire by throwing gasoline from a cup into the stove in which some fire was still burning and the can was on the floor. While occupied in this manner a sheet of flame burst from the stove door and set his clothing on fire. It was then that he ran from the room and it is supposed that immediately after the flame reached the can of gasoline and the big explosion took place. He said he had lighted the fire in that manner hundreds of time and ended by saying, “I guess it was once too often.”

Francis has been a resident of Fort Dodge for about ten years or more. He has been employed by Colby Bros. for about four or five years, working part of the time in this city and the remainder in the saloon of  the firm at Vincent. He leaves four children, his wife having preceded him in death about three years. Of his children, Miss Florence and two young boys who are in school reside in this city at the family home which is located on North Seventh street, in the rear of Corpus Christi church. James, a young man about twenty-five years of age, joined the navy about two years ago. It is stated that the wife of hte deceased was a cousin of “Buffalo Bill” and that she received a visit from that person on his tour through this section a number of years ago.

The Funeral.

The funeral of Mr. Francis will be hed (sic) tomorrow morning, at nine o’clock in Colfax township, where friends of the family reside. His father, who lives in the eastern part of the state has been notified, and wil (sic) arrive in the city tonight. Other relatives will also be here to assist at the burial.


23 Below Zero and No Fire Protection

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 4, 1904

23 Below Zero and No Fire Protection

Lamentable Condition of Affairs Brought to Light by Fire Saturday Night.

Building Burns to Ground

Because There is no Pressure to Aid Firemen in Fighting Flames.

One-fourth City in Peril

Saturday Night When Residence S.W. Corey Totally Destroyed.

With the thermometer registering twenty-three degrees below zero and with practically no water pressure, Fort Dodge was visited by a fire at midnight Saturday that in many respects was of a nature unprecedented in the history of the city. The total destruction of the home of C.W. Cory at 209 Twelfth street south is credited to a combination of circumstances, which is claimed by the persons upon whose shoulders rests the property against the ravages of fire to have been impossible to forsee or prevent.

The Corey residence was totally destroyed. The house was reduced to a heap of charred timbers and fallen walls covered with several inches of ice entailing a loss of nearly $5,000 ($119,747 today) not a cent of which is covered by insurance. How the fire found its origin is unknown. The fire department was summoned to the scene a few minutes before 9 o’clock in the evening. At taht time fire was discovered in a small pantry room on the northeast corner of the house in a wing with adjoins the main body of the structure. The flames were soon extinguished, or apparently so, and the firemen remained at the house for nearly two hours to assure themselves that the fire was out. At 12:10 a.m. the department was again on the scene, having been called by a second alarm in a half hour after their departure. This time the blaze was on the opposite side of the house, diagonally from the first fire. There was not water pressure and the firemen were unable to even check the flames. The fire burned itself out several hours later, leaving a mass of smoking embers where was a short time before was a well built residence.

Startling Conditions Revealed.

The unusual nature of the fire is to be found in several facts which cannot be disputed. In the first place there was no water pressure and in the second while not intentionally, the firemen were apparently unfortunate, failing to extinguish the fire on their first visit to the house. The third circumstance is a fortunate one. The night altho bitterly cold was without wind, and in this way lessened the danger of a more serious conflagration. With conditions prevailing as Saturday night more than one-fourth the city was without fire protection. Had there been a wind sufficient to carry the burning embers to the nearby houses the seriousness of what might have happened cannot be estimated.

W.L. Pray, water superintendent, credtis the conditions of Saturday night to a combination of circumstances. “I was never so beat in all my life,” he said today when speaking of the fire. “It was a combination of circumstances which could not be neither foreseen nor prevented.”

Friction in the water pipes and the supply of one-fourth of the city thru a single six-inch main is given by Superintendent Pray as a reason why there was not a better water pressure. He explains the conditions in substance as follows:

All consumers of city water south of Central avenue and east of Twelfth street are supplied by a single six inch main running east on First avenue south. This main supplies all the consumers in that part of the city together with the Great Western railroad company and seven flush tanks. The first mishap incident to the fire Saturday night was when the firemen attempted to connect the hose with a water hydrant on the corner of Thirteenth street and Third avenue south. In attempting to turn on the water they broke off the stem to which is attached the crank. In this way, rendering the hydrant useless. As a last resort Superintendent Pray attempted to close the valves at hte corner of First avenue south and Thirteenth street and at the corner of First avenue south and Seventeenth street. Had he been able to do this he could have shut off the water supply from the entire southeast part of the the (sic) city and concentrated the entire force on the fire. The steel covers of the manholes, however, were securely frozen in the ground and defied all efforts to be opened. Under these conditions of affairs there was nothing to do but let the fire burn itself out. Of the several lines of hose carrying water to the fire one had sufficient pressure to throw the water thirty feet, but even then it was lacking in power to break even a thin pane of glass. Under favorable conditions the proximity of the water tower to the scene of the fire would have been beneficial than otherwise.

“The only reason I can see for fire breaking out a second time is that there must have been some fire there after we left,” says Chief J.V. Lowry.

“After putting out the fire when we were first called we made a thorough search of the entire house before leaving,” said Chief Lowry yesterday. “We couldn’t find the least trace of a blaze and left, satisfied that the fire was out. Mr. Corey went with us thru every room in the house and he too was satisfied.”

When seen relative to the fire, C.S. Corey, whose property suffered said:

The city is responsible for this. There was no water pressure for one thing and for another the firemen should have seen that the fire was out before leaving.”

The first alarm was sent in shortly before 9 o’clock in the evening. The house is occupied by C.W. Corey and family and Mr. and Mrs. Louis O’Day, the latter living in five rooms on the second floor in front of the house. Just how the fire started is unknown. There was no one on the first floor at the time and so far as can be learned no lamp was lighted and the nearest stove was ten feet away and in another room. The building consisted of the main structure and a wing, the former facing west on Twelfth street and the latter facing east. The The (sic) fire was first discovered by Mr. O’Day. He had scented smoke and going down stairs went into the kitchen on the southwest corner of the wing. Finding no fire there he opened the door leading into the pantry and was driven back by the flames.

At the arrival of the fire department no difficulty was experienced in extinguishing the flames after which the firemen went thru the house in an endeavor to locate if possible sparks or embers that might cause the fire to break out anew. Failing to find anything of this nature they returned to their quarters only to be recalled in a half hour.

Not a Cent of Insurance.

The first fire did but comparatively little damage and only that by smoke and water. Most of the furnishings were removed from the house at this time. The loss in household goods sustained by Mr. Corey is estimated to be between $200 ($4,790) and $300 ($7,185), and to Mr. and Mrs. O’Day, who occupied the upstairs room about $100 ($2,395). Mr. Corey estimated the loss on the house to be over $4,000 ($95,798). Mr. Corey suffered the loss of a grist mill by fire some time ago. As in this case, he carried no insurance. Mr. O’Day said yesterday that it was his intention to take out insurance January 1, but unfortunately he delayed doing so a lay (sic) too long.

Fire on Opposite Side.

Responding to the second alarm, the firemen found the flames to have broken out on the south side of the house in the kitchen. It is thought that fire, which the firemen failed to locate, burned between the walls and finding its way to the opposite side of the building was fanned by a draught until it had gained sufficient headway to burst through the roof. After the firemen left at 11:30 a policeman was left to watch for a second fire. When he discovered the blaze he had to go several blocks before turning in the alarm. By the time the department was on the ground a second time, the fire was burning fiercely in the kitchen and through the roof. Water was turned on as soon as possible, but only a pitiful little stream issued from the nozzle. Ladders were run to the roof ot he wing, and upon a porch on the south side of the house, where the fireman vainly attempted to throw enough water on the blaze to prevent its eating its way toward the front of the house. The flames however were so fierce and the water supply so inadequate that the firemen were driven from their position and forced to the ground and the front of the house. All efforts, however, were unavailing and the men, covered from head to foot with ice, found themselves able only to throw water on the nearby houses. An attempt was made to throw water upon the roof of the Silas Corey house to the porch, but the pressure was too weak. Good fortune along prevented the fire from communicating to the gable of the house, which was only a short distance from where flames were the hottest.

Brave Cold to See Fire.

Several hundred people watched the fire in the early hours of the morning, and although the thermometer was 20 degrees below ezro (sic), they braved the elements. The fire could be seen many blocks away. With scarcely a trace of wind, a column of smoke fifty feet in diameter arose from the burning buidling, and after emerging from the shadows of the trees into the clear moonlight, it ascended many feet intot he air as a might white pillar.

The crowd which gathered at the fire was not lacking in criticism, and had the usual large amount of advice to give to the firemen as to what they should and what they should not do. The unconcealed comments of some persons in the crowd caused several of the firemen to lose their tempers, and on one or two occasions they treated the crowd to a shower bath.

Several cases of frozen feet and frost-bitten ears are reported as a result of witnessing the fire.

(Editor’s note: I chose to include the article below in this post because it is related to the issue of the fire.)

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 4, 1904

Coldest Weather of Winter

Thermometer Registers 23 Below Saturday Night.

Eight Degrees Colder Than at Any Time Previous This Winter – Warmer Sunday.

Saturday night was the coldest of the winter. The government thermometer at Tobin college Sunday mornign showed that the lowest point registered during the night was 23 degrees below zero. The maximum temperature for the same twenty-four hours was 8 degrees above.

The lowest temperature for the twenty-four hours ending at 7 o’clock this morning was two degrees above, while the thermometer showed the maximum temperature to be 8 degrees above. A comparison of the figures shows that during the twenty-four hours ending at 7 a.m. today, the thermometer varied only 6 degrees while during the same period of the preceding day there was a deviation of 25 degrees.

Up to Saturday night the coldest weather of the winter was registered December 13, when the thermometer shows 15 below. The third coldest was December 26, with 11 below.


Kinney Millinery Wiped Out by Fire

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 3, 1905

Kinney Millinery Wiped Out by Fire

Lamp Explodes in Hands of Miss Kate Kinney and She Has Narrow Escape.

Gets Out by the Back Door

Loss Was About $2,000 Only Partially Covered by Insurance – Fire Department Had Hard Fight to Control The Blaze.

One of the fiercest small fires that ever occurred in the city was that which broke out in the Kinney millinery establishment on Saturday night, consuming practically the entire stock of millinery amounting to $2,000 and gutting the structure in spite of the utmost efforts of the fire department.

The fire was caused by the explosion of a lamp in the hands of Miss Kate Kinney, just as the sisters were preparing to close their establishment for the night, and it was a miracle that this  young lady was not burned to death in the fire that followed.

Story of the Fire.

The Kinney sisters have been in the millinery business here for the past four years and during this time have worked up one of hte largest trades enjoyed by any of the like establishments of the city. They had just waited on the last customers, fixed up their window displays for Sunday and were blowing out the lights preparatory to leaving, when the accident happened.

Miss Kate Kinney was engaged in this and stepping upon a chair to remove one of the lamps from a wall bracket, noticed that the bowl was very hot. She lifted it out when there was a flash, and the burning oil was scattered about over the counter and floor. The explosion threw her from the chair, and as she fell her head struck on the radiator, stunning her for several seconds.

Her sister, hearing the fall, rushed from the back of the establishment, and even then the flames were spreading rapidly over the room. In falling Miss Kate had knocked over another large lamp containing a gallon of oil, and this added to the general conflagration. Her sister rushed out the front way and gave the alarm, and she recovering consciousness, attempted to follow her, but was cut off by the flames and forced to go back to the rear of the structure to make her escape. In her dazed condition the  young lady has no idea how she got out of the building, but she finally escaped in some manner and the cool air revived her.

The fire department responded to the call and were on the scene immediately, but before they had an opportunity to throw a stream of water, the whole inside of the building was a blinding mass of flames and it was impossible for them to save anything except the shell of the building. For an  hour they had the hardest kind of a fight to control the blaze, but all of this time they kept the flames from spreading to the adjoining structures, and finally had the last spark out.

When seen today Miss Kinney said:

“No, the loss was not nearly covered by insurance. We had a stock of $2,000 and our insurance will not run over $1,100. It will take the greater part of this to pay our wholesale bills, and there will be little left. I cannot say whether we will start up in business again or not. I fear the loss is so heavy that we will not be able to do so.”

The Kinney millinery was one of the most enterprising firms of the kind in the city and had an excellent and growing patronage. The proprietors were well liked, and the people of the city will be glad to see them reestablished. They have the sympathy of their friends in their unfortunate loss.

The building will probably be repaired as the frame itself was only little damaged.


Fire at Corpus Christi Academy

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 16, 1903

Fire at Corpus Christi Academy

Early This Morning For Time Threatens Destruction of Building

Starts in the Furnace Room

Blaze Discovered by Sisters at 3 A.M. – First Floor is Badly Damaged.

Spontaneous combustion in the coal room of the Corpus Christi academy, situation at the north end of Eighth street, was the cause of a run by the fire department at an early hour this morning to extinguish a blaze which for a time threatened the destruction of the building. The fire was extinguished only thru the utmost efforts of the firemen and that the damage was not greater is due to its early discovery and the prompt arrival of the department.

The loss could not be estimated today, although it is probable that much of the first floor of the building will have to be replaced. The remainder of damage is due to smoke, which for a time filled the entire structure.

The blaze was discovered at 3 o’clock this morning by members of the order of Sisters of Charity, who have charge of the school and live in the building. The firemen found the blaze to be confined to the northwest corner of the basement where is situated the coal and furnace room. Before the department could control the flames the latter had burned thru the floor of the room above and promised to envelope the entire building. The blaze was finally controlled and extinguished.

To spontaneous combusion (sic) can be assigned the only cause whereby the fire could have found its origin. An early discovery undoubtedly prevented a bad fire.

Corpus Christi academy is a new building, dedicated a year ago last October and its loss would means no little to the congregation of the Corpus Christi church.


A Destructive Prairie Fire

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The Fort Dodge Democrat, Nov. 2, 1861

A Destructive Prairie Fire

The most destructive Prairie Fire ever witnessed in North-Western Iowa, occured (sic) on the 28th, near Dayton, but supposed to have originated near Jefferson, on Coon River, the greatest damages, however, occured (sic) at the former place, burning Timber, Fences, Hay, Grain, &c., to an unlimited extent, compelling farmers either to sell their stock for merely nothing or leave them to famish with the cold and hunger. – The scamp who perpetrated the crime, should be severely punished.

The Prairie Fires illuminate the atmosphere nightly. It (is) to be deplored that the laws are not more strictly enforced with regard to setting out fire. Unprincipled persons thus save their own property suffering the conflagration thus raised to destroy the property of persons unprepared to extinguish it. In this manner a large amount of property has been consumed at Dayton on the 28th inst. Some person near Jefferson, Greene Co., are said to have occasioned this disaster.


May Be The Stolen Horse

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 10, 1903

May Be The Stolen Horse

Possible Clue to Incendiary of the Ricke Fire

Horse Answering Description of One Stolen Being Held by Authorities in Omaha.

A horse answering exactly to the description of the one stolen from the Ricke livery barn on Saturday, the night when the stable burned, has been located in Omaha, where a man was seen driving the animal on Saturday morning, only a few hours after the fire.

Immediately upon the discovery of the theft, cards were sent thruout the county giving a description of the missing animal. Russell McGuire today received a letter from his brother, D.O. McGuire, stating that a horse in every particular answering the description of the one stolen from the Ricke barn, was seen on the streets of Omaha on Saturday morning.

The animal has been held and the matter will be investigated. Of course, the horse may be another, but horses which are just alike are very rare. If it is the same animal, the authorities are at a loss to know how it could have been tranoprted (sic) to Omaha so soon. It could not have been driven there in that short time, and it does not seem likely that it would have been shipped within so few hours, Ricke being positive that the horse was not taken out of the barn before the early morning when the fire occurred. For this reason the officers are not putting much faith in the hope that the animal and the man guilty of putting to death eleven dumb brutes by an awful torture, simply to steal a horse, will be secured by this clue.

However the horse has been held, and the particulars will be inquired into.