Montreal, QB Dominion Park Scenic Railway Fire, Aug 1919
9 DIE IN BLAZE AT DOMINION PARK
Scenic Railway Attraction Traps Four Men, Four Women and a Boy
Montreal, Que., Aug. 11.--Search today among the ruins of the "Mystic Rill," destroyed by fire at Dominion Park yesterday brought to light two more bodies; those of a man and woman, making the total casualties nine. None of the bodies recovered have been identified.
The fact that the wind was blowing from the west saved the whole park from destruction.
Not one of the seven bodies recovered last night is recognizable, there being no heads, arms or legs on the charred trunks, which were taken to the morgue early this morning. Bits of paper, small medals, a few corset stays and portions of clothing were collected by the morgue authorities, placed in separate envelopes and locked in the safe, as they are the only means of identifying the bodies.
It was at 5:35 o'clock that the fire was discovered and the alarm rung. The exact cause of the fire is so far unknown, though it is though that the careless throwing of a cigarette or a lighted match might have started the blaze. The flames spread so quickly that it was impossible for the employees of the park or the officials to tell exactly how the flames got their start.
One point, however, was established last night, and that was that the flames were due to no apparent defect in the electric wiring of the Scenic Railway and the Mystic Rill, as the plant had been inspected by an inspector five minutes before the flame broke out. The fire damaged the motors operating the Mystic Rill and the Scenic Railway.
Within a few minutes after the sounding of the alarm in the park, the volunteer brigade of the place had started working on the blaze, but it was soon realized that the flames had gathered such headway that it was necessary to call the Montreal fire brigade. An alarm was rung at box 55, in front of the park and the firemen from the two Maisonneuve stations with those from the Longue Pointe station responded under District Chief Favreau.
On the arrival of the firemen the Mystic Rill was a mass of flames and the burning southwestern section of the Scenic Railway was already tottering. The firemen heard shouts for help and moans inside the Mystic Rill, but it was impossible to reach the victims. The firemen broke down as many of the walls of the place as they could with axes and with any implements which came handy, and in this way one or two persons who were near the outer edge of the Mystic Rill circle managed to make their escape. The shouts and groans only lasted a few moments according to the firemen, and when the section of the Scenic Railway overhead fell with a crash into the flaming mass below, it was reported that there was a car loaded with people on it. This however, could not be ascertained last night, there being a huge pile of ruins in the southwest corner of the place where the trestles collapsed. When the Scenic Railway fell shouts were heard, but no trace of any of the victims in that section of the place were located last night. A search will be made today when the ruins have cooled off.
St. Albans Daily Messenger, St. Albans, VT 11 Aug 1919