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Burning Of Virginia City

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A correspondent at Virginia City, Nevad:!, who witnessed the burning of that town on the 26th of October, gives the following graphic description of the conflagration and the scènes incident to it : The greatest fire that has ever visited Virginia City has just spent it force, and the whole town froni ïaylor street north is in ashes. About dayJight the alarm was given, the fire having broken out in a private dwelling on A street. A high wind was blowing at the time, and before the department could get at work many buildings were in ruins. With incredible rapidity the flames spread to B street, and soon it was apparent that the greater part of the city was doomed. The alarm was taken up by all the hoisting works in the city, and the shrill notes of steam-whistles and flre-bells, the howling of the wind, and the crackling I of the flames made a perfect bedlam of sounds. The engines f rom Gold Hill wero lirouerht into service, and evory j availablo applianee used to check the i flre. Within an hour from the time the first alarm was given, at least twenty dwelliiig-houses on A street, and the main business portion of B street were burned to the ground. The first I ing that succumbed on B street was Mooney's livery stable, a brick building with a wooden roof ; all the horses and cnrriages had boen removed.' Af ter leaping across several small frame buildings the firo next took hold ! of the County Court House, a large j three-story brick edifico, in which were S coniined about fiftecn prisoners. These were romovod to an adjoining buütïïng, and subsequently liberated upon their own parole, as under the existing ciroumstunces nothing else could be done with them. The east side of B street was soon cnveloped iu flames, anJ the fire was extendiug northward as fast as a high wind and a succession of wooden houses could caray it. The firomen were I doing their utmost, but to no avail. People removed their cffects iuto the : street only to have them burned before : thoy could bc taken to a placo of safety. Whilc the firo was thus extending ' to tho business heart of the towii, it was also crawling up toward the base of Monnt Davidson, destroying in its courso the finest family residenoe in the city. On B street, the International Hotel, a fourstory brick, was burning on the roof, and the jewelry manufactory of M. M. Frederick, on C street, was smoking, while at the same time the high wind was carrying einders as large as one's hand over into the east side of 0 street, and presently a frame building in the rcar of the F,nt rpriae afflue was in flames. Thus did the fire approach so quickly trom B to C street that business houses in tho latter thoroughfare were considered safe I until it was too late to save anything from them. The Enterprise Building was on fire so soon that the accountant's books alono were saved. The office of the Evcning Chronicle was with its contents totally destroyed. The Footlight, published in the same building, was also a total loss. During the burnmg of these buildings, the fire was making rapid headway liorthwnrd and eastward, and commu'iication between the extremes of the city was cut off. Piper's Opera-House and adjacent buildings on D street were smoking hotly from the roof, and soon butst into a live flame. It was now the most exciting moment of the fire. From the start the flames secined to approacli dircctly the Consolidated Virginia hoisting works and tho railroad depot, but now it was certain that unless something extraordinary was done the works and tho large sixty-stamp rnill mitst succuinb, Thoi'e were n few intervenmg buildings that had not yet taken fire, and giant powder wasbrought into use to destroy tliom. Explosión alter explosión thundered, but the high wind and tho great heat could not be overeóme by powder even, and the roaring fiamos mai-ched straight down E street and to the mines and the rnilJs in thoir resistless course, sweeping everything bef ore them, inciuding the hoisting works and mili of the Consolidated Virginia, the new battery mili of the California, and the hoisting works of the Ophir mine. Tho Virginia hoisting-sltaft abuts on the railroad depot, and northeast from it are tho hoisting works of the Ophir and Mexican. The hoisting works of the Oonsolidftted Virginia were, at the time they were erected, the best nppoiued of any in the worid. Attached to them were mechanica! shops for erery mechanicai department connected with the mine the wholo costing from $300, 000 to $-100,: 000. The new mili of tho Consolidated Virginia was connected with the hoisting works by a railroad built upon woodwork with trestles, and tho flre dashed along this for aeveral hundred feet, till it reaohed the mili, which was a lumberbuilt structuro, aud therefore feil a rapid prey to the fire. As the pl'ogross of tho fire became 80 formidable the minors had been hoistod to the surface from every part of the works below, the shafts biüklieadcd near j the surface, and every precaution taken to save the lives of the men and as much proporty as possible. Thcro is no doubt that, had the situation been properly taken in at the start, by the use of a few kegs of powder upon buildings that had not yet taken fire, a large portion of the city might have been saved. No correct estímate can yet be made of the losses. though they will probably reaoh $5,000,000.


Old News
Michigan Argus