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.