Detroit, MI Opera House Fire, Oct 1897

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Detroit, Oct. 7. -- The fire which began in the Detroit Opera House this morning did from $600,000 to $700,000 damage. Five large buildings and two smaller ones were destroyed.
The flames leaped out at the rear of the theatre, where a wall was blown out by the explosion of a calcium light. The Opera House faced the Campus Martius, and was obliquely across from the City Hall. Adjoining it in the rear the ten-story structure occupied by the HENRY R. LEONARD Furniture Company got afire in the upper stories. Next to the Opera House the large jewelry establishment of WRIGHT, KAY & Co. and the four-story building fronting on the Campus Martius and Monroe Avenue, occupied by the C. H. MICHEL Table Supply Company, also caught fire. The MICHEL building was gutted, and all its contents burned, but the jewelry establishment was saved.
From MICHEL'S the fire communicated to the large six-story building occupied by C. H. WERNER'S crockery house and the Grand Union Tea Company, which was burned. On the Gratiot Avenue side, the flames spread to a building occupied by the Central Storage Company and VAUGHAN & TANNER, which was also consumed. A side wall of the latter building fell upon the roof of a two-story structure occupied by the Parisian Laundry, which was wrecked and partly consumed. On the Monroe Avenue side, a small shoe store was crushed to fragments by the fall of the east wall of the WERNER Building.
Among the losses was that of the JULIA ARTHUR Dramatic Company, which was its first engagement in "A Lady of Quality."
The Grand Trunk repair shops, on the dock at the foot of Dequindre Street, nearly three-quarters of a mile distant, caught fire from a blazing brand, and were destroyed with a quantity of lumber and material.
LIEUT. JOHN W. HOPKINS and Pipemen ARCHIBALD BENNETT and JOHN H. WELCH suffered a serious fall. BENNETT'S spine is seriously injured. It was 5:30 o'clock before the fire was fully under control.
The Detroit Opera House was owned by the CLARK estate. Its value is estimated at $80,000. It was quite fully insured. C. J. WHITNEY, lessee of the building and manager, loses about $20,000. The JULIA ARTHUR company's loss is over $20,000. The MICHEL Building was valued at $20,000. The stock was worth $75,000, and was 90 per cent insured. The LEONARD Building, with its stock, is estimated at $100,000. The principal other losses, most of which are fairly insured, are as follows:
Central Savings Bank, $10,000.
HUGH CONNOLLY, jewler, $10,000.
VAUGHAN & TANNER, $50,000.
C. H. WERNER, $45,000.
TRAUGOTT SCHMIDT estate, owner of the WERNER Building, $85,000.
Grand Union Tea Company, $25,000.
Parisian Laundry, $15,000.
Central Storage Company, $20,000.
Grand Trunk repair shops, $64,000.
BROSSY'S Dye Shops, $1,500.
Opera House musicians, $1,000.
P. J. KINNUCAN, tailor, $3,000.
DR. W. H. KESSLER, $2,000.
Boston Shoe Store, building and stock, $3,500.
J. & T. HURLEY, coal dealers, $4,000.
CHOPE & Sons, wagon works, $500.
and other minor losses by smoke, water, &c., $10,000.

The New York Times New York 1897-10-08