Ashland, WI Lumber District Fire, Aug 1900

It Burned Like Powder

A million dollars worth of property went up in flames at Ashland, Wis.

Four Men Were Killed

Pinioned between burning piles of lumber and roasted to death – four thousand pounds of dynamite used to stop the progress of the fire – a change in the wind saved the city from destruction.

Ashland, Wis, Aug. 4 – Fire today destroyed a million dollars worth of property today in the lumber district of the city. The flames were checked, after three hours struggle, before they reached the valuable sawmills and ore docks along the waterfront.

Tonight the fire broke out again and threatens further heavy loss.

At 2:30 o’clock in the afternoon fire broke out in the lumber yards of Barker and Stewart. It spread rapidly to the Keystone Lumber Company’s yards and in a short time had destroyed almost 50,000,000 feet of lumber, including six tramways. Carried by a strong wind, the fire brands and sparks started a blaze in the lime and salt dock a quarter mile away. The dock burned like powder. It was a quarter of a mile long and was soon reduced to ruins, together with a warehouse containing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise and several miles of railroad track. Four thousand pounds of dynamite was brought to the scene and distributed all around the edge of the fire zone. Piles of lumber and a score of small buildings were blown into atoms and the flames confined.

None of the sawmills had been destroyed. The loss is easily a million dollars. Edward Hines said that the loss of his firm alone was $800,000.

At 8 o’clock this evening the wind, which has steadily favored the fire fighters, suddenly veered toward the city and developed into a gale. The alarm was sounded again, and every available piece of fire apparatus was brought into action, but it appeared probable that the mill of Barker and Stewart Durfee, the Ashland Iron and Steel company’s property, and the Ohio Coal Company’s dock would be destroyed.

At 9 o’clock when it seemed as if the whole city was doomed, the wind suddenly veered again toward the bay.

At 10 o’clock the fire was checked except in one place and there is good prospect of confining that.

Burned to Death
Milwaukee, Wis. Aug. 4 – A special to the Sentinel from Ashland says:
In the Barker and Stewart yard four employees, assisting in the dynamiting were pinioned between burning piles of lumber and were seen to go down in the fire raging beneath them.

The Anaconda Standard, Anaconda, MT 5 Aug 1900

Continued