Kellogg, IA Business District Fire In Town, Sept 1908



Kellogg, Sept. 25. -- Fire starting yesterday afternoon and burning until late last night indicted a damage of at least $100,000 upon the town of Kellogg and destroyed practically an entire business block on the east side of Main street and one residence adjoining. The buildings burned include the frame hardware, implement and furniture establishment of BOBZIN & Son, valued at $20,000 or more; the BOBZIN Bros. general merchandise store and opera house, a drug store, the large two story veneered brick bank building of the Burton & Co. State bank, a fine new residence of CARL BOBZIN, just completed, and the ALEX FISHER livery stable. The brick bank block withstood the flames for a long time, but finally succumbed, and is probably a complete loss, as are the office and plant of the Kellogg Tribune on the second floor.
The fire started from a burning rubbish heap near the FISHER livery stables. That structure was consumed like tinder, the owner having time only to save the live stock in it and losing the vehicles. Before the Kellogg fire department could prevent it the flames spread to the adjoining business buildings, all of them frame and dry, and then the fire soon became terrible in aspect and threatening to the whole town.
When the volunteer department was struggling bravely with its limited equipment, the water pressure began to fall and in the very midst of the fight against the fire the reservoir was completely emptied. An alarm was sent to Newton and Grinnell. From Newton came many volunteers with ladders and other equipment, from Grinnell came the steamer both on special trains. The Grinnell steamer alone saved the entire business district from destruction. It was located near the Rock Island water tank and the streams of water it supplied gave protection to the business buildings on the west side of the main street, which were being badly scorched by the heat and set on fire here and there by flying embers.
The fight to save the buildings was waged fiercely. It bacame apparent very soon that the big frame buildings could not be saved, but there was some hope of preventing the destruction of the veneered brick structure on the corner. From the outside the flames were quite successfully fought off, but finally fire broke out on the inside, and then all effort against it seemed futile. But the fight was kept up until 9 o'clock in the evening though the buildings were then practically in ruins.

Waterloo Daily Courier Iowa 1908-09-25