Prescott, AZ Fire, July 1900 - the aftermath


Nothing but Tottering Walls and Burning Debris Left of the Business Portion of Prescott.


Flames Burned Fiercely for More Than Four Hours Before the Conflagration Could Be Stopped-Buildings Were Blown Up to Stay the Course of the Flames-Sufferers Will Not Need Outside Assistance-Temporary Quarters Are Being Erected on the Plaza for the Victims of the Fire.

Prescott, Ariz., July 15.-A scene of the greatest desolations and a feeling of deepest gloom pervades this town today. All that remains of the principal business portion of the town is tottering walls and piles of charred and burning debris. The fire which started at 10:45 last night was not under control until 3 o’clock this morning, when the fire fighters went a distance in advance of the flames and blew up the buildings on the south side of Goodwin street, preventing them from crossing that street. The most conservative estimate of the total losses are from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.

The burned district embraces five blocks, in which were located the principal business houses, both banks, both telegraph offices, three newspaper offices, four hotels and every saloon and every restaurant except one in the town, besides scores of private residences. To add to the prevailing gloom a high wind has prevailed all day, sending smoke, dust and burning embers in every direction, requiring the greatest vigilance to prevent another outbreak of the flames. Owing to the chaotic conditions prevailing to-day [sic], it is impossible to obtain an accurate account of the loss or individual insurance. From interviews with insurance agents, the total insurance does not exceed $350,000.
The heaviest losers are as follows: Bashford Burmister company, $250,000; Sam Hall, $75,000; Hotel Burke, $60,000; D. Levy & Co., $40,000; Jake Marks, $25,000; R. H. Burmister & Son, $20,000; C. A. Dake, $20,000; Ed. Block, $25,000; J. W. Wilson, $20,000; Kelly & Stephens, $10,000; Journal-Miner, $12,000; Bank of Arizona, $10,000; Prescott National bank, $10,000; Prescott House, $9,000; W. H. Smith, $10,000; the Courier, $8,000; Golden Eagle hotel, $8,000; Scopel, $15,000; F. G. Becht, $10,000; Windsor hotel, $10,000; Mountain City Drug Store, $6,000; Brinkmeyer hotel, $8,000; H. Voge, $5,000; Lee Bros., $3,000; Joe Roberts, $5,000; Vienna bakery, $3,000; Cabinet saloon, $10,000; Palace saloon, $10,000; Prescott Electric Co., $5,000. In addition to the above were 14 or 15 saloons with losses ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. Five restaurants, five barber shops, two meat markets and 50 – 60 residences were destroyed. In many cases the above losses do not include buildings.

At daylight this morning teams were at work hauling lumber to the public plaza and this evening it is covered with tents and temporary frame buildings. The occupants will be ready for business to-morrow [sic]. Both banks have secured temporary quarters and will be open to-morrow [sic]. Bashford Burmister company will be open for business to-morrow [sic] in their warehouse, two blocks from the plaza.