The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 15, 1905
Disastrous Fire at Eagle Grove
Wells Block Opera House is Wiped Out – Fire Started From Gasoline Stove
Webster City, Aug. 15 – (Special to the Messenger) – Fire ot (sic) Eagle Grove last night totally destroyed the opera house block and Wells restaurant and the rear part of the I.O.O.F. hall. Loss about twenty-five thousand dollars ($598,737 today), mostly covered by insurance.
The fire started in the restaurant from the explosion of a gasoline stove. There were a number of men in the place at the time eating, besides the cook and night waiter of the cafe. The explosion occurred about midnight and burst forth so suddenly that all within the room were forced to beat a hasty retreat before the flames.
They were hardly able to enter the place again for the fire spread in a few minutes over nearly every part of the building. The fire company was called out and though they worked heroicly (sic) against the flames it was soon evident that they were of no avail and then confined themselves to trying to save the adjoining buildings. The opera house soon took fire but the other buildings were saved. Not until five o’clock this morning did the watchers feel safe to return from the scene of the ruins.