Douglas, AK Town Fire, Feb 1937

Douglas AK  Circa 1920.jpg


Douglas, Alaska, Feb. 24. -- Residents of this once flourishing boom town erected crude temporary shelters today and discussed the outlook of once again rebuilding. Fire swept the town yesterday and destroyed the homes of 600 of the 700 residents. It was the third time the town had been partially burned out.
Many of the homeless found quarters with friends at Juneau, four miles away. Others were quartered in the new Indian school, one of the few sizeable structures not destroyed. Damage was estimated at $250,000 by the Juneau fire chief whose department aided Douglas' lone fire company and truck.
The fire started in the heart of downtown, presumably in a hardware store. A high wind was blowing and the flames swept out of control quickly. Authorities were preparing to blast a back fire area when the wind shifted and made this move unnecessary.
Douglas was founded in the '90's when the famous Treadmill gold mine was opened. It lost its boom proportions in 1917, however, when the mine was closed down by a flood and cave-in.

The Edwardsville Intelligencer Illinois 1937-02-24