Fond du Lac, WI Fire, Sept 1908

FondDuLac WIS fire in town 9-25-1908.jpg


Sea of Flames Extending Over Six Blocks on East Side of City. Scarcity of Water Renders the Firemen Practically Helpless.

FOND DU LAC, Wis., Sept. 26.---Fire last night destroyed St. Joseph's Catholic church and 10 dwellings and at midnight threatened the entire east side of the city. Insufficient water supply allowed the flames to run almost at will. The Congregational, the Presbytarian and St. Peter's Lutheran churches are in flames and will probably be a total loss.
A high wind which prevails, together with a scarcity of water, renders the fire department helpless to cope with the flames. The garage which was reduced to ashes in less than an hour contained some 15 automobiles, none of which were saved, as the flames spread to the St. Joseph's church, a $40,000 structure, which is now in ruins and the parish house is burning at this hour. The residences of MRS. T. F. MCHAMB and that of DR. L. A. BISHOP are totally destroyed, while several smaller dwellings have burned. The Congregational church, which is three blocks from the point where the fire started, is burning at this hour and other buildings have taken fire in the vicinity, causing a sea of flames to spread over more than six blocks.

Pipe Line Not Connected.

For some time it has been known that the water supply has been inadequate to care for a large fire, such as is now raging, and former Mayor Doyle, who retired from office last spring, had a pipe line built to the lake for just such an emergency as that which now threatens a good portion of the city. Failure to have a connection made with the water plant places the city at the mercy of the flames. The loss at this hour (1a.m.) is placed at fully $150,000 and it may reach several times this amount before it is under control.

At 2 o'clock this morning the fire was under control, but not until the public school, St. Joseph's church, the Congregational church and Crescent Garage buildings, and seven dwellings, were destroyed. The loss is $250,000. In the garage at the time were 15 automobiles, including two large touring cars, property of Milwaukee parties. The Oshkosh and Milwaukee fire departments responded to the call for aid, but their services were not needed. St. Peter's Lutheran church was partially destroyed.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 26 Sept 1908