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Blackfoot, ID Territorial Asylum Fire, Nov 1889

AN IDAHO HORROR.

THE TERRITORIAL ASYLUM BURNED -- TWO INMATES PERISH AND FIVE OTHERS ARE MISSING.

Blackfoot, I. T., Nov. 26. -- The main building of the Territorial Insane Asylum burned early Sunday morning. Two men named KEEN and SMITH are known to have perished, and five other inmates -- DORA NANTIC, CORA ALLEN, and three men named HANSON, KENNEDY and GLEN -- are missing. It is possible that they escaped from town in the confusion, but it is feared that they were caught in the fire. The flames originated in the kitchen, presumably from a defective flue, and within an hour the main building was in ruins. Great excitement prevailed among the inmates when the fire was discovered, and Superintendent GIVEN and his assistants had great trouble in controlling them. They succeeded, however, in mustering sixty of the sixty-seven inmates. The women are quartered in the Methodist church and the men in the court house. The new addition to the asylum was saved, but all records were destroyed in the main building. The loss will not exceed $30,000.

Logansport Reporter Indiana 1889-11-26

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LUNATICS CREMATED.

EIGHT LIVES LOST BY THE BURNING OF THE IDAHO ASYLUM.

(Special to The World.)
Blackfoot, Idaho, Nov. 25. -- The territorial insane asylum at this place caught fire from a defective flue in the basement at 1:30 o'clock Sunday morning and the old building was burned to the ground. An annex lately built, but unoccupied, escaped. The inmates were all in the old building. Of sixty-seven inmates four are known to have perished in the flames, four are unaccounted for and supposed to have perished also, and the remaining fifty-nine were rescued. It is impossible to search the ruins for them now, as the brick walls have fallen down and the bricks are too hot to handle.
All the rescued inmates were placed in places of safety, the women in the Methodist Church and the men in the jail, where they will remain until the annex is made ready for occupancy. This will take about three days. The burned building will be immediately rebuilt. The contents of the building, including all the clothing of the inmates, were lost. The people of the town responded nobly, and are doing everything possible to replace the clothing lost by inmates and employees. The fire was discovered by the night watchman, who was attending to his duties on the third floor, but the discovery was made too late to save the contents of the building. Coroner Bean's inquest is now in session. Gov. Shoup and Commissioners Costin and Johnson will arrive here tomorrow, when, with Commissioner Just, who is already here, definite steps will be taken to make some disposition of the patients pending the rebuilding.

The World New York City New York 1889-11-26



article | by Dr. Radut