San Francisco, CA Business Section Fire, Aug 1876



Monday night a fire broke out in a box factory, on Brannan street, in the southern part of San Francisco, in a neighborhood closely built up with frame dwellings, stores, and manufacturing establishments, and before 2 o'clock yesterday morning the fire had almost completely swept away the large block bounded by Brennan, Townsend, Third, and Fourth streets, the only buildings saved being the fine offices of the Central Pacific Railroad Company, and a few fram houses of small value; the latter were mostly badly damaged. Over two hundred poor families were turned out of doors. The losses will aggregate half a million dollars. Among the buildings destroyed was the Gorman Hospital, a large brick edifice, containing, at the time, about seventy patients. Owing to the rapid progress of the flames, the inmates were for a time in a critical condition, but were eventually removed without accident. At one point the fire crossed to the north side of Brennan street, and the Railroad Hotel, a large three-story frame building, was completely destroyed. The streets in the neighborhood, for distances of blocks were littered with household goods, and densely crowded with people, while the many eminences of the city were covered with spectators. At one time there was imminent danger that the fire would cross Third street and sweep that portion of the city down to the Pacific Mail Steamship docks, but the fire brigade made a stand on that street and succeeded in checking the flames there. Some of the dwellings destroyed were of superior, character, but bestides these the principal loss is in the destruction of the Hospital, the Railroad Hotel, and several box and sash and blind factories. A fireman named STEWARD fell from a ladder on Brannan street and was instantly killed, his neck being broken. A number of minor accidents are reported, but few of a serious nature.

The New York Times New York 1876-08-30