Press enter after choosing selection

Muskegon Aflame

Muskegon Aflame image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Muskegon, Mich., May 18. - A fire the most destructive that ever sweptover this city, broke out Saturday ia the Langakell Hotel barns, and before its unsatiate appetite was appeased it had reduced the buildings on forty acres of ground to ruins, renderingl,500;people homeless, and making ashes of $600,000 vrorth of property, with but $275,000 insurance. The fire, which started on Pine street, was driven back on that street for a distance of eigbt blocks, burning all the buildings on each side. It also extended from Pine street west to spring street, one biock, burning all the houses on the west side of Spriug street for the same distance back as on Pine street. The business blocks ou Pine street were raainly two stories high aml wera occupietl over head by faniiíes. The Ilonies of the Medíanles. The quarter burned over was that in which the ruechauics Inrgely lived and about all they possessed was contained in their homes. There will be some distress, but the citizens have already started a relief fund and will not caill on outsid cities for aid. The $100,000 court house burned out, but its public document were saved. Prisoners in the county jail which occupied the basement of the cour house, were liberated. Among the sad in cidents connected with the fire was tli death of Harry Stevens, aseistant postma&ter, the son of Postmaster Stevens. He was very ill with pneumonía, and the Sames made it necessary to remove him to a place of safety, and he died while bemg carried tiirouth the streets. The Svahd of the Flamen. ]f was not an hour alter the fire was discovered in the hotal barn on Pine street before two whole squares bad been swept clean by the ñery hurricane. Stores, residences, and public buildings were swept away like chaff. A strong wind was blowing and the flams spread with such appalling rapidity tha many people barely escaped with their lives. Citizens whose houses were not de stroyed promptly came to the relief of the unfortunates, and all found shelter The fire departuient of Muskegou, though au unusually good one, was wholiy una ble to cope with the conflagration, bu did effective work in saving property on the borders of tüe burned district, Costly Kesidence Burned. The first house of any preteuaions to burn was the residence of Matthew Wilson, a wealthy luniberniau. His residence cost about $40,000 and was elegantly furnished. Carvers had just completei $8K)0 worth of work on the interior. Tne ■plendid furnishings, carpets, tapestries, statuary, etc, were thrown peü-mell into the drays, and the eostly bric-a-brac was baried beneath the plebeian trappings of the humbler people who, in the disorder and confusión, appropriated the same vehicles. Drays were scarcely to be had, and which were obtained charged extraordinary price for their services. Deetruction of the Court House. The court house occupied one square and was left without any protection whtever. The sheriff, who is the custodian of the building, removed the prisoners to the city hall, but made no effort to guard the property from the flaines which surrounded tne square. One man on the roof ith an inch nose could have saved the fine property. At 4 o'clock nre siarted in the tower of the court house and in a few minutes the fine structure was wrapped in Humes. The guie increased in velucity, and caused the flamea to roar and shriek from the roof and tower of the large building which was burniug in the center of four blocks of dwelling houses, all of which, were a sea of llallíes. Brave, but Kash Miss Nellie. Suddenly a lady was seen to break beyond the line and dart toward the door of the dooaied building. It was the register of probate, Mis Nellie Conklia, who desired to place sonie valuable documents in the vault. It was with difficulty that she was restrained. Had süe proceeded she could no more than have reached the door whea the cornice and part of the tcwer feil with an awf ui crash in front of the doorway, completely blockading the passage. E. W. Dewey, an engineer of Cnicago, who is located in the city, and who was active in valuable assisiancü throughout the afternoon, had just emerged from the building, when the tower crashed down through the roof. At about the same time the utmost excitement prevailed on Pine street. Two children had been overlooked and were in back room of a tenement house. The screams of the frantic mother could be heard above the roar of the flames calling on those about to save her children. Tne situation was rendered the more exciting by the explosión at this moment of a stock of fireworks in a building ad joining. Ladders were procured and the children were taken from the building in an almost suffocated condition. Four Hours of Devastation. After the fire had destroyed the block south of the court house the wind shifted to the eastward and drove ;the flames across the block to Terrace street, where the elegant residences of Alderman Fleming, David McLaughlin, W. F. Wood and others were destroyed. The wind suddenly abated and the fire was checked at Ionia street, nine blocks from the starting point. In four hours forty acres of buildings had been swept from sight. Some of the Loses. The heaviest losses are as follows, amitting the court house: Terrace-street - Holland church and parsonage, $10,500, insurance, $4,000: Jlrs. Sarah Fleming's threeBtory brick dwelling, $7,000; two-story dweiling, $11,300. Pine street- F. A. Burton, dry goods, $7,500; Lutheran church and parsonage, $5,000; No. 103, C. M. Philabaum's building, $2,000, and stock, $5,000; F. Hasse, two-story brick, $5,000; Langkawel hoUBe and barn, owned by H. Langkawel. Most of the buildings were ] Talued at from $3,000 to $400, and wou ld , ' xequire a couple of columns to enumérate. 1 1