Lansing, MI Downey House Hotel Blaze, Feb 1912
DOWNEY HOUSE IS TOTAL LOSS.
WELL KNOWN LANSING HOTEL DESTROYED BY FIRE: LOSS IS $400,000.
TWO ARE INJURED.
ARTILLERYMEN CALLED OUT TO KEEP THE CROWDS FROM DANGER ZONE -
BUILDING HISTORIC ONE -- SCENE OF MANY POLITICAL GATHERINGS.
Special to The News-Palladium:
Lansing, Feb. 7 -- The Downey House, Lansing's biggest and best known hotel, burned down into last night. The total loss will reach $400,000. Three firemen were overcome with smoke, one sustained a broken leg and one a broken arm.
The Lansing fire department was unable to cope with the blaze and calls for help were sent to Grand Rapids and Jackson.
The fire started on the sixth floor, at the top of an elevator shaft. It spread quickly and soon the building was wrapped in flames.
The Michigan Lumbermen's association had just adjourned from the convention hall on the sixth floor when the discovery of fire was made. All got out in safety. All of the guests were accounted for.
Two batteries of light artillery, commanded by Major R. C. VANDERCOOK, patrolled the scene of the fire to keep the crowd away from the burning building.
Historic Old Hostelry.
The hotel had been the gathering place for legislators and statesmen for nearly half a century. It was built in 1866 by Col. FAYETTE BAKER, with a portion of the government reward he received for the capture of JOHN WILKS BOOTH, the murderer of President LINCOLN. Col. BAKER was chief of the government secret service and shortly after the death of President LINCOLN he came to Lansing and built the hotel.
About five years ago it was entirely remodeled by its present owners and made into one of the most modern nd up-to-date hostelries in the state. The proprietors expended nearly $250,000, adding two additional stories to the structure, refurnishing it throughout, and providing an exceedingly ornate corridor.
The News-Pallladium Benton Harbor Michigan 1912-02-07