Ocean Park, CA Pier And Town Fire, Sep 1912
1000 ARE HOMELESS; LOSS THREE MILLIONS.
DISASTROUS FIRE SWEEPS OCEAN PARK -- LOS ANGELES FIREMEN STILL WORKING ON THE RUINS -- CITY IS NOW UNDER MARTIAL LAW.
ONE KNOWN DEAD -- ELEVEN ARE STILL MISSING.
H. S. LOCKE, OPERATING CONCESSION ON FRAZIER'S PIER -- NINE BABES IN INCUBATOR SAVED -- WOMEN AND CHILDREN MISSING.
Ocean Park, Cal., Sept. 4. -- With one known dead, eleven missing, and thousands of persons homeless, the fire which swept Ocean Park last night was still burning in spots today. The property loss will amount to three million dollars.
H. S. LOCKE, operating a concession on FRAZIER'S Pier, is known to have lost his life. Several women and children are among the missing. Hundreds of Los Angeles firemen are still working on the ruins and this city is practically under martial law. The state militia and the Los Angeles police are patrolling the ocean front to prevent looting.
Nine babies, including a Japanese infant, weighing fourteen ounces, were saved by the baby "incubator" on Frazier's pier.
Famous Pier Total Loss.
The famous FRAZIER'S million dollar pier, with all its concession buildings, was totally destroyed, except for the concrete piling of the pier itself.
The Decatur hotel, famed to all who have traveled to the Pacific coast, in the last ten years was leveled, along with the long string of small business houses along the "Pike" and the boathouse, one of the finest and largest on the coast, rests in its own ashes.
One Japanese is known to be dead. He jumped into the ocean while trying to escape from the blazing pier and was drowned. Seven other Japanese are reported to have been killed in the holocaust.
Cause Is Unknown.
The cause of the fire is not known. At the first alarm the Ocean Park fire department responded quickly, but from the first it was almost helpless. Soon the departments, with all their apparatus, from Venice and Santa Monica, were on the scene, but they, too, put up a losing fight until a wide area of buildings had been razed with dynamite.
Chief of Police SEBASTIAN, with fifty men, went from Los Angeles in high power automobiles to render assistance to the stricken city. Two companies of the state militia soon followed the police and tents were provided during the night for the dense throng of refugees.
People Are In Panic.
Scenes of the wildest confusion followed the rapid, spread of the flames. Summer pleasure seekers who have thronged the beach cities all the summer fled into the streets in panic. The streets were soon thronged with men and women, carrying trunks and things of value, fleeing to places of safety.
FRAZIER'S million dollar pier was completed and presented to the public a year ago last July. It was erected at a cost of approximately $1,000,000, together with buildings which stood upon it.
Immense Casino Burned.
Upon the pier, which extended out into the ocean a distance of a quarter of a mile and was nearly as wide, was built an immense casino building, which contained a score of small businesses and amusement concessions. This building fronted on the strand or "Pike." It was in the kitchen of the Casino cafe, located in this building and to the rear a few feet from the "Pike," where the fire first broke forth. The flames spread with almost lightning rapidity.
Fanned by a stiff wind from the north, the flames soon ate their way through the casino building and to the end of the pier, sweeping in their path such concessions as the merry-go-round, which cost approximately $15,000, and the extensive dance hall.
Flames Jump 75 Feet.
It was but a short time before the fire leaped the 75-foot pike and the conflagration started in the small business and theater buildings on the east side. Then the famous Decatur hotel cought embers and was swept out of existence. Next came the great bath house, one of the finest on the coast.
Immediately adjoining the bath house begins a row of apartment houses and dwellings, which extend from Ocean Park to Venice, a mile to the south, in a continuous string. The tongues of fire, before completing their diabolical work at the bath house, took up these smaller structures and rapidly ate them away, despite the efforts of the police and fire departments.
The Daily Commonwealth Fond Du Lac Wisconsin