Hot Springs, AR Fire Destroys Town, Sep 1913

Hot Springs, AR Fire, photo courtesy of familyoldphotos.com Hot Springs, AR Fire, photo courtesy of familyoldphotos.com Hot Springs High School destroyed in the fire, photo from familyoldphotos.com Garland County Court House destroyed in the fire, photo from familyoldphotos.com Central Methodist Church, Hot Springs, destroyed in the fire, photo from familyoldphotos.com Park Hotel, Hot Springs, destroyed in the fire, photo from familyoldphotos.com Moody Hotel, Hot Springs, destroyed by fire, photo from familyoldphotos.com

FIRE SWEEPS OVER AN ARKANSAS TOWN

BLAZE, STARTING IN A NEGRO CABIN, SPREADS RAPIDLY AND LEAVES 55 CITY BLOCKS IN RUINS WITHIN A FEW HOURS -- LOSS IS ESTIMATED AT $6,000,000 -- CITY WILL BE IN DARKNESS FOR THIRTY DAYS.

2,500 HOMELESS PERSONS CAMP IN PARKS

Governor HAYS and Mayor McCLENDON Directing Work of the Relief Committee and in Charge of Guarding the Burned District -- Perfect Order Prevails Due to Efforts of 250 Citizen Police -- Hundreds of Regufees Straggling Along the Roads En Route to the City Camp at Race Track -- Water Supply Good

Hot Springs, Ark., Sept. 6 -- A generous downpour of rain today proved a valuable aid to weary workers among the smouldering ruins of the $6,000,000 conflagration which swept Hot Springs last night. About 55 city blocks are in ruins. Perfect order prevails, however, due to the efforts of 250 citizen police. The 2500 persons rendered homeless are being cared for and it is probable city authorities will not call for assistance from the state at large.
The light and power company has provided emergency facilities for the newspapers and other industries to resume operations, but the city will be in darkness for at least thirty days.
At a mass meeting today a committee was appointed to meet with the city council to provide immediate fire fighting apparatus and care for the homeless.
More than 6000 feet of hose was destroyed last night and many of the local department horses rendred unfit for further duty.
Mayor McCLENDON today praised the efforts of the local and Little Rock fire fighters last night, pointing out that not a fatality occurred and that only four persons were slightly burnt.

The Estimated Loss.
An incomplete estimate of the loss follows:
Park Hotel and Furnishings, $500,000.
Public utilities, $350,000 to $400,000.
Southwestern Telegraph & Telephone company, $150,000.
Garland county court house, $200,000.
Moody hotel, $140,000.
Hot Springs high school, $150,000.
COOPER Brothers livery and transfer, $70,000.
Central M. E. church, $25,000.
Iron Mountain freight and passenger depots and shops, $60,000.
DILLARD'S laundry, $40,000.
PEOPLE'S laundry, $40,000.
Orange street Presbyterian church, $25,000.
Ozark sanitarium, $25,000.
SIEGLER apartments, $65,000.
Bijou rink, $20,000.
Woodcock apartments, $35,000.
SCOTT MAYER commission company, $30,000.
PLUNKETT-JARRETT Grocery company, $30,000.
Hot Springs commission company, $30,000.
HAMP-WILLIAMS Hardware company, $80,000.
Pasteurized Milk company, $30,000.
About 125 business buildings, $800,000.
From 625 to 700 residence buildings $2,000,000.

Governor Directs Relief Work.
Under personal direction of Governor GEORGE W. HAYS, the task of providing for those made homeless by the fire began at daylight today. Several hundred volunteer firemen were working on the ruins in fear that the smoldering embers might be fanned into flames again.
Under orders of Mayor McCLENDON, all saloons are closed and so far there has been no disorder. Two hundred and fifty citizens sworn in as a special police force at a mass meeting held last night while the fire was at its height, patrolled the fire swept area this morning. Mayor McCLENDON accepted Governor HAYS' offer of two companies of state militia and ordered a mass meeting of citizens for later in the day, when it will be decided whether the city will call on outside cities for help.
It is estimated about 2500 persons were made homeless by the fire. The majority of those are being temporarily camped in the vicinity of the Oakland race track and state fair grounds.
Grand avenue, leading from the burned area to the fair grounds, today presented a picturesque sight. Hundreds of famillies with what little they saved from the ruins, were gathered along the roadway, gradually working their way to the camp grounds. The militia will aid these people and guard the devestated district.
There is no danger of a water famine, according to the authorities. Even if the supply were cut off there are numerous cold springs throughout the city furnishing sufficient water for all purposes.
The Sentinel-Record, the morning newspaper here, barely escaped destruction by the fire last night and did not issue its regular editions. The New Era and Daily News, the afternoon papers, are without power and unable to publish. Business generally is at a standstill todady[sic].

Started In Negro Cabin.
The fire started at 3:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon in a negro cabin and burned in to the southern extremity of the city at early this morning, leaving a large area in ruins and driving many from their homes.
But few of those whose homes were burned saved any of their household effects, and guests of the hotels gave little heed to their valuables and luggage in their efforts to escape the flames.
Driven by the high wind, the fire spread rapidly. Within 15 minutes it was apparent that the fire fighting force of Hot Springs was inadequate and an appeal was made to Little Rock for aid. Apparatus and men were sent, but the fire was then beyond control. Dynamite was resorted to when it was apparent that water would be of no avail, but this also failed to check the progress of the flames.
The burned district for some distance skirts the business section, and several times the shifting winds headed the fire for the principal business section, but each time the free use of explosives and an opportune change of the wind saved it. Before nightfall the task of checking the flames was abandoned and the combined fire fighting forces turned their efforts toward keeping the fire away from the center of the city. In this they were successful.

The Ogden Standard Utah 1913-09-06