Brownsville, ND Boarding House Fire, Mar 1883
Eleven men Burned To Death.
Deadwood, March 12.-At 11 o’clock Saturday evening a fire was discovered I the large story and a half boarding house owned by Hood & Scott, in Brownsville, on the Homestake railway, 9 miles from this city, and in less than thirty minutes the entire structure was destroyed. The following named persons perished in the flames: PETER HANSEN, LEWIS HANSEN, R. C. WRIGHT, THOS. FINLESS, JAS. CHALMERS, ALBERT TENNECLIFFE, SAM. HAYES, F. D. PETERS, CHAS. HAMMONTREE, W. H. ANDREWS and H. WOOD. Four others names not learned, were seriously injured. It is not definitely known how or where the fire originated, but it is generally believed it was through the carelessness of some men who were accustomed to read by candle light while lying in bed. The building was a long, low cheaply constructed shack of pitch pine, and it burned with the greatest rapidity. The bunk room occupied a loft, access to which was gained by means of one ladder at the end of the room. The fire undoubtedly started near the ladder cutting off all retreat and as there were no windows to the garret, escape became impossible. Several of the deceased leave large families and all were well known and esteemed. Brownsville is located in a heavy forest from which the Homestake company draws its immense supplies of fuel and timber for mines and mills. The deceased were employed in its preparation. Large numbers of people visited the camp this morning and much excitement prevails. The men who escaped during the burning of the Brownsville boarding house, give the following information: They were awakened by the blowing of a locomotive whistle about one o’clock Sunday morning. The room was filled with smoke from the back and the fire was around the kitchen stove. The men were dazed, but four of them went down the ladder and escaped. Three escaped unhurt through a small sliding window leading from the street to the roof of an adjoining building. Of the eighteen persons in the house eleven perished, and their bodies turned to ashes.
Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, ND 13 Mar 1883
Roasted to Death.
Deadwood, D. T., March 12.- Hood & Scott’s boarding shanty at Brownsville Wood camp, was burned Saturday night. JAS. CHALMERS, THOS. FINLESS, R. C. WRIGHT, LEWIS HANSON, P. HANSON, HARVEY WOOD, W. H. ANDREWS, CHAS. HAMMOND, FRED PETERS and SAMUEL HAYS were burned to death. Four others, whose names are not learned, were seriously hurt.
The building was one story with the loft, where the men slept, accessible only by ladder. It was usually occupied by thirty lodgers, but Saturday night only fifteen were in the house. There was one window in the loft. Only four men, badly burned, were saved by jumping. Two of those must have legs amputated. The fire is supposed to have originated from kindlings left near the stove, on which coals fell. PETERS slept on the ground floor, within five feet of the door, but the flames spread so rapidly they he could not escape. The bodies of the eleven victims were charred beyond recognition.
Galveston News, Galveston, TX 15 Mar 1883