Crowley, LA Oil Field Fire, Aug 1904




Expectation Is They Will Be Extinguished Today - Steam Falls to Put Out the Flames.


Crowley, La., Aug. 26. - One black cloud of smoke, extending many miles in the western heavens, tells the story of the burning oil fields. All night the skies to the westward were illuminated with the reflection from the spectacle of the burned petroleum and was easily distinguished. The first attempt to quell the oil field fire by steam was made shortly before noon today, but the attempt was more than futile. The field committee placed ten large boilers in different positions facing the burning district and turned the steam on as full as possible. The workmen were making splendid headway when an east wind accompanied by rain came up. The wind blew the flames against the steam pressure with such force that the twenty or thirty feet that had been gained by the workmen was soon lost and it was readily seen that further attempt until after the wind had subsided would prove more than worthless. The work was abandoned and not taken up again until 4:30 o'clock in the afternoon.

The result is that the greatest gusher, Morse No. 8, has been extinguished and the probabilities are that the remainder of the big fire will be gradually stamped out by tomorrow noon. This, however, depends entirely upon the wind. Should a strong wind arise tonight it might result in a spreading of the fire, but the chances are against it and the fire-fighters feel reasonably certain that the greatest part of battle has been won.

Morse wells Nos. 6 and 7 and the Blenville well No. 2 are still burning. More well No. 7 is the only well at present from which any danger is likely to occrue, as this well is still one of the strongest gushers in the field. The other two wells will be easily controlled if this well can be conquered and the workmen are exerting their energies in this direction tonight.

To The News representative at 5:30 p. m. C. C. Duson said that he did not believe that it would be possible to extinguish the blaze before tomorrow noon at the earliest.

The fire-fighters, who number perhaps 100 drillers and oil men, are using every effort to gain the slightest headway against the flames and are turning steam from ten large boilers into the blaze. The flames from the fire are still reaching far into the heavens and the spectacle from the distance is grand beyond all description.

The oil men tonight seem to think that they have the situation pretty well in hand and are confident that the fire can be extinguished before tomorrow night unless some unforseen accident prevents them from carrying out their present plans. The operators on the field were approached by a number of parties today who wished to undertake the quenching of the fire on a contract, but they were quietly passed up one by one.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 27 Aug 1904