Minneapolis, MN fire, Dec 1904


Total Damage $727,000, with Insurance of $647,000 - Two Lives Lost.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Dec. 14. - Two firemen were killed, three others painfully burned, and property valued at $727,000 was destroyed by a fire which began late last night and was not under control until this morning. The dead are: Jacob F. Miller, insurance patrolman, and John Fellows, pipeman.

The losses, which are almost fully covered by insurance, are:

Buildings occupied by O. H. Peck, Boutell Brothers, and the Bintliff Manufacturing Company, and owned by the Hale Homestead Company of Minneapolis, $150,000; Mercantile building, $35,000; O. H. Peck, stock of photographic supplies, $45,000; Boutell Brothers, furniture stock, $275,000; Bintliff Manufacturing Company, stock of picture frames and art goods, $80,000; Powers department store building, $60,000; Powers' stock, $165,000; Northwestern Bank building, $8,000; Farmers and Mechanics' Savings Bank building, $2,000; miscellaneous, $10,000. The total insurance is $647,000.

The flames started in the basement of the Peck establishment. Although the building was heavily stocked with chemicals the fire fighters had little doubt of their ability to confine the flames to that building and they attacked the fire on all sides.

All at once the wires that controlled the automatic sprinkler system in the building in some way touched a heavily charged electric light wire and the great volume of superheated air, mingled with gases from varnish and baking wood, instantly became a mass of flames.

The New York Times, New York, NY 15 Dec 1904