Leadville, CO Fire, Mar 1889
AN EARLY MORNING BLAZE
Serious Loss to Several Tenants in The Opera House Block.
A VERY CRITICAL CONDITION
A BIG BLAZE
A fire broke out at 4 o'clock last night in the store next the HYMAN'S place, which is now occupied by the â€œPlymouth Rockâ€ Pants men. It was quickly extinguished without material damage.
LATER â€“ Soon after it was announced that the fire had been put out, the firemen discovered flames issuing from the ceiling of the back part of HYMAN'S club rooms. Then ensued a scene of the wildest confusion.
While the firemen were getting additional hose, tables and chairs and everything else movable were rapidly rushed out on the sidewalk by excited, swearing, frantically gesticulating men.
Meanwhile, the lodgers in the adjacent buildings were getting their household goods out as fast as possible.
Dense volumes of smoke poured from the burning building, and, to make matters still worse, the electric lights were put out about twenty minutes past 4 o'clock.
Several times it looked as if the flames were under control, but each time they broke out afresh in another spot.
From DAVE MAY'S former store the flames spread to TEDDY SCHULTZE'S saloon, and from one room to another, until it looked as if the whole block would be consumed.
Ex-Alderman WARFIELD was packing up, preparatory to taking French leave of his cigar store; Manager CRAGG was looking on at the opera house with care-filled eyes; and the whole sidewalk was filled with women and children, with their quilts, baby carriages, and a confused mass of other goods that they had hastily snatched as they fled from the impending danger.
Ever and anon amid the crackling of the flames would be heard a thunderous roar as some part of the building fell under the fireman's axe.
Early as was the hour, there came out an immense crowd of spectators, who eagerly watch the progress of the flames, and many of them rendered material and acceptable aid in the removal of goods and fixtures.
The fire department was taxed to the utmost of its facilities, and, considering the nature of the conflagration, and the early hour at which it occurred, did efficient work.
While the origin of the fire is not certainly known, it is supposed to have been from a stove in the back part of the store-room formerly occupied by DAVE MAY.
At 5:20 Chief POLLARD informed the reporter that the fire was under control, and the throng of anxious lookers-on slowly dispersed.
Chief POLLARD and all his force did real yeoman service, and thereby deserved the gratitude of their fellow townsmen.
Not only the regular firemen, but many of the old volunteers also, turned out and fought the flames with as much vigor as they exhibited in the early days of Leadville.
The loss is roughly estimated at between $2,000 and $3,000.
Leadville Dailyand Evening Chronicle Colorado 1889-03-01