Dawson, YT Forty Buildings Burn, Oct 1898



Skaguay, Alaska, Nov. 7. -- Returning Klondikers arriving in this city today bring the news that the City of Dawson has been visited with a $500,000 fire, in which forty buildings were burned, including the new Post Office structure and some of the best houses in the city.

The fire took place on the morning of Oct. 16. It started in the Gree Tree saloon, as the result of a quarrel between two women. BELLE MITCHELL, it is said, threw a lighted lamp at another woman. The lamp was broken, the oil spread, and in a few seconds the building was ablaze.

At the time the fire alarm sounded, a light wind was blowing down the Yukon and the people at once saw that it would require destruction. The Post Office was the next building south of the Green Tree saloon, and the work of getting the mail matter out was quickly done. Although nearly all the mail was saved it was in great confusion. All that remains to show where formerly forty buildings stood are a few blackened logs, and the town was saved from total destruction by the fire engine. If it had not been that about 2,000 men turned out, worked like Trojans with wet blankets, buckets of water, and axes, and aided in the working of the fire apparatus the whole town would have gone up in smoke.
The Klondike Nugget says that the losses will be difficult to estimate, but a list is given out of the individual losses, which foot up to $503,000. There is no insurance at Dawson, and the loss fall entirely on the individuals.

It is said there is not enough lumber and window glass in Dawson to rebuild the burned district, and that the people will have to live in tents for the rest of the Winter.
The fire of a year ago was caused by the same woman, who threw a lamp at a man with whom she had a quarrel. A month ago she tried to burn her own place, in Third Avenue, in Dawson, by throwing a lamp at a woman, and nearly causing a conflagration by again losing her temper and wielding another lighted lamp.

The New York Times New York 1898-11-15