New Orleans, LA Commercial District Fire, Aug 1908


Twenty Buildings Damaged Causing Loss of Two Million Dollars.

New Orleans, Aug. 30. - While the firemen of the city were several miles away, enjoying their annual picnic, fire broke out in the block next to the big custom house and caused a loss of probably $2,000,000. It was the greatest fire in New Orleans since the memorable destruction of the Stuyvestant docks. No fewer than twenty buildings were damaged, including many wholesale establishments.

The fire started shortly after noon to-day and is still burning, but under control. The entire department of the city was pressed into service after great delay and the thousands watching the fire saw the great walls fall forward into the streets. Several of the wholesale liquor establishments collapsed with deafening explosions.

The fire is believed to have started in the Central Glass company's building on Blenville, between Chartes and Decatur streets. Several firemen were injured by flying bricks and glass.

The Manitoba Morning Free Press, Winnipeg, MB 31 Aug 1908




Loss Estimated Between One and Two Million Dollars.

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 30 – Fire which broke out in the center of the commercial district this afternoon swept over portions of the three blocks, destroying a large number of wholesale houses, manufacturing plants and small stores. Originating at Bienville and Chartres streets, the flames worked their way north as far as Oony street and west towards Royal, causing a loss of between one and two million dollars before they were finally subdued.

At the time the alarm was turned in, shortly before 3 o’clock, the New Orlearns [sic] firemen were in the midst of their annual picnic at a suburban park and the engines and patrols responded with a mere handful of men. It was nearly an hour before the department was able to make anything like a successful fight against the fire, and the horror was added to by an insufficient supply of water.

The fire was one of the most spectacular that has occurred in New Orleans during recent years.

Two warehouses filled with wines and liquors were among the buildings destroyed. Barrels of whiskey and brandy exploded with thunderous roars, which could be heard for blocks and which shook the walls of adjoining buildings and endangered the lives of the firemen engaged in fighting the flames.

It was not until several hours had clapsed [sic] that the fire was gotten under control, and even then it continued to burn well into the night.

The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE 31 Aug 1908