Astoria, OR City Devastated By Fire, Dec 1922
ASTORIA, ORE. IS FIRE RUIN.
BUSINESS DISTRICT OF COAST CITY WIPED OUT.
FULL SWAY TO FLAMES FOR TEN HOURS, CAUSING A LOSS ESTIMATED AT FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS -- RELIEF MEASURES BEGUN.
By the Associated Press.
Astoria, Ore., Dec. 8. -- The business district of Astoria, the oldest city in Oregon, is in ruins, hundreds of persons are homeless and property loss estimated around $15,000,000 was caused by a fire here today. For ten hours the flames held sway, eating an ever-widening path thru the city until shortly after noon.
Banks, newspaper plants, hotels, stores, theaters and numerous buildings, housing a variety of business places, were wiped out. According to Fire Chief E. B. FOSTER the fire got out of control because it burned beneath the buildings under piling upon which the business section of the city was built. He attributed the disaster to failure to fill in the space beneath the piling. Dynamiting was resorted to in an effort to stay the flames.
NOTORES STAPLES, automobile man and president of the Bank of Commerce, dropped dead of heart failure while the fire was at its height.
The body of C. J. SMITH, a transient, was found hanging under the sidewalk on the waterfront at Eighth and Astor streets, but whether he had ended his life because of the fire or for other reasons, the police were unable to determine. He had spent the night in a cheap lodging house on the waterfront.