Avalon, Catalina Island, CA Fire Destroys Hotels and Half of Town, Nov 1915

Hotel Metropole, Burned in Avalon, Catalina Island Fire Nov 1915

Fire fighters played a steady stream of water from the top of of the jail, which is on high ground, and the steamer Hermosa, summoned by wireless, lent all possible aid, but she was considerably hampered by the flames which swept down upon the wharves and licked up several small boats in the harbor.

Only the dying down of wind saved the entire city from destruction. Several fire fighters were slightly injured, but no fatalities were reported.  The fact that it is between seasons at the island resort, probably saved many lives.

The Banning company, chief losers in the conflagration, later in the day estimated the loss would run between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000.

FIRE WAS AN INCENDIARY ONE

The fire was of criminal origin.  Deputy-Sheriff Sutemaier expressed this belief today following a train of mysterious circumstances preceding the disastrous conflagration. At 10 o'clock last night the home of Captain J. Willy was broken into and set fire by an explosion of some sort.  Several other places showed evidence of having been broken into.

Sutemaier declared an explosion of some sort.  Several other places showed evidence of having been broken into.

Sutemaier declared an explosion similar to the one which ruined the Wiley home occurred shortly after 3 a.m. in the Grandview hotel, starting the fire which spread over the western portion of the city, causing an estimated $1,500,000 loss.

Riverside Daily Press, Riverside, CA 29 Nov 1915

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