Rolla, MO Fire, Jul 1881




LOSS ABOUT $35,000.

On Monday morning last, just after midnight, an alarm of “Fire” was given, and upon examination it was found to proceed from the boarding house of MRS. DAUM, on Eighth street. In a few moments the whole house was in flames, and it was as much as the inmates upstairs could do to escape with their wearing apparel. The fire spread rapidly to adjoining buildings and soon the fire embraced all the wooden buildings on the south side of Eighth street.
Herculean efforts were made by the side of HELLER'S store and CULBERTSON'S barn, to prevent the fire from going south any farther. It was successful, and the balance of the block was saved. PARKER'S law office was torn down and this saved the brick building occupied by WHITE'S drug store.
While this was being done, the fire had blown across the street and set SEELE'S gunsmith shop, BOWLES & SHINNEMAN'S saloon, BRUSCHER'S barber shop and all the buildings down to MRS. KRAUSE'S were on fire. Determined efforts were made to save the goods of these houses which the open space behind favored, and through broken up some, and wasted considerable, the bulk of the liquors and household goods were saved.
By the time these buildings had fallen, the fire had gained a firm hold on MRS. KRAUSE'S hotel and saloon, and the CRANDELL House, also the upper part of the Post Office and bank were burning furiously and in spite of all the efforts made, there was no overcoming it. The CRANDELL was soon gone and the fire slowly eat its way down from the upper part of the P. O. and bank down stairs, and then from the top of the corner building down. The wooden part of the GRANT house was hung with quilts and blankets, well saturated with water and though the heat was intense, no damage was done to the building. The fire stopped for want of further material to feed on, and the people tired out were glad to get a respite from their labors; though a good many people sat around and looked on, not lifting a finger to help.

Two causes are assigned for the fire, one that a fire was made in a stove set in a defective flue, with shavings and that the flue set the house on fire. While there was a fire made early in the night in the stove in question, it would have shown itself long before fire broke out if the flue had caught on fire, and thus set fire to the roof. But no one saw the flue on fire. Another is that some of our young men purchased some Roman candles and rockets, and that one of the rockets fell on this house and a few moments thereafter was in flames. Taking into consideration how dry the roof was and how easy to take fire, this is to our mind the most reasonable theory as to its origin, and should warn people against dealing in such dangerous missiles.

MRS. CHEWNING got a feather bed that did not belong to her. It is at DR. JOHNSON'S office, and the owner can get it by identifying it there.
MRS. GREABER has lost one pair of blankets and three quilts that she saturated with water and loaned to put upon the buildings back of KOCH'S. Those having them will please return.

The following estimate of losses, is our own, based upon the best information that we could get. We notice among the sufferers, a peculiar facility or exaggeration as to the value of their lost properties, that does not conform well to the values they placed upon it, the last time the assessor came around. We have, in each instance, made personal inquiries as to losses, and then made the estimate ourselves. A great deal classed as loss, such as notes, accounts, etc., can, in many instances, be collected, even though the notes or accounts are destroyed, and then the loss to those losing this class of property will be reduced. The loss is especially severe upon a number of poor people, while some of the losers will hardly feel it, though the amount of property destroyed has been considerable.

Continued on page 2