Chicago, IL Armour & Company Fire, May 1906

One Million Bushles ([sic] of Grain Are Burned

Chicago, May 30 – Fire early today desroyed [sic] Armour & Company’s elevator D standing along a slip extending from the south branch of the river at Fisk street, and was spread by means of sparks to the John Spey Lumber Company’s plant yards, Twenty-second and Fisk streets.

With the elevator were destroyed 1,000,000 bushel of wheat, corn and oats. Four men employed in the elevator, were hurt, one fatally, soon after the fire started, when a series of explosions, caused by ignition of the blast spread the flames throughout the big building.

The loss was estimated roughly at from $500,000 to more than $1,000,000. In addition fifteen cars filled with grain were on the tracks by the elevator and these were destroyed. Switch engines were hurried to the switch track and 150 cars were hauled out of danger.

Within half an hour after the sounding of the first alarm, five special calls had been sent in, and sixty engines came from as far north as Lake View, together with the fire boats, Queen Yosemite and Illinois summoned to the scene.

The firemen were obliged to get nearly all their water from the slip, no water plugs being within available distance.

The building destroyed was 500 feet long, 200 feet wide and three stories in height, built of brick. It was not near any other building, but the fire was of such extent that plants two blocks away were endangered. Among these were the gas tanks of the People’s Gas, Light and Coke Company between Twenty-second and Twenty-third streets on Center Avenue.

Firemen were stationed to pour water on these, when the embers were carried in that direction.

The gas company was notified and it responded that it would draw the gas from the tanks at once.

The men hurt in the elevator were watchmen and were standing near one of the chutes leading to the water front when one of the explosions blew them entirely out of the building. The power house of the Commonwealth Electric Company on the west bank of the river not far from the burning elevator, caught fire and fire boats were sent to extinguish the flames there. Companies were also sent to keep wet the walls of elevator C of Armour & Company.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 30 May 1906