Tombstone, AZ Fire Consumes Most of Town, May 1882

OK Corral after the fire of May 1882, photo from wikipedia

Scenes And Incidents Of The Fire.

Tombstone is proud of her gallant little fire department.

Sheriff Behan and his deputies performed priceless services.

Chief Nagle got seriously hurt at the beginning of the fire, by a horse falling on him, but with his characteristic energy and pluck he refused to surrender, even to nature, until the flames were whipped.

Two miners named Morel and Griffin saved the Russ House. By boldly shouldering a burning pile, dumping it in the street, and pouring on a sufficiency of water the building was saved.

Mr. Moriarty, first assistant engineer, kept his machine well in hand; with a keen eye to the surroundings, and indomitable energy, and hope was never abandoned.

Mr. Chenoweth, of the Hook and Ladder company, rendered valuable service.

Officer Coyle is acting chief of police during the illness of Chief Neagle. No better than could be selected for the position.

Foreman Blackburn, of the Engine company rendered service that can never be fully appreciated. He was everywhere, and his directing genius had much to do with the conquest of the flames.

Chief Engineer McCann was ubiquitous. He performed valiant services.

Pat Holland, president of the department, earned the gratitude of everybody for the zeal, ability and energy displayed by him.

In the midst of the fire a little boy, not more than five years old, wandered along. Fourth Street, and was rescued with difficulty.

Officer Kenny corralled a couple of Mexicans last might as they were packing off some records of the Recorder’s office. The books were recovered and the culprits jailed.

Foreman Blackburn ordered a citizen imprisoned for refusing to help when ordered. He was an ordinary spectator, and had nothing at stake.

There are several severely wounded by failing timbers, walls or scorches from the flames, but only one death. The unfortunate victim is unknown. His charred remains were found in rear of the Cosmopolitan Hotel after the flames and subsided . Nothing that could identify him was visible, and until a missing man cannot be accounted for, it more than probably that the unfortunate man cannot be identified.

In the midst of the ruin and desolation thieves were busy, and required all the vigilance of the police force to protect property.

The Palace Lodging House had a narrow escape. The proprietress of that charmed resort, on the commencement of the fire, ascended to the porch of the upper story, wring her hands in grief, called upon God to help her, and-then went and helped herself.

John Dugan bought out his partner, Wm. B. Moore yesterday morning, and had just established himself as sole proprietor. Hiss loss will foot up $1,000.

The mechanics of the Epitaph office also distinguished themselves. Messrs. Stoddard and Smith took down the press and in a short space of time rigged it up again in good shape.

One consolation, almost everybody was insured.

The scarcity of water cost Tombstone thousands of dollars, yesterday.

The owners of wagons in Tombstone yesterday did a rushing business and raked in the ducats at a lively rate.

The entire Epitaph office rendered faithful service, but exceptional thanks are due to Mr. Wright, the foreman of the mechanical department. His energy, industry and zeal, cannot be too highly praised.

Officer Kenny did good service in guarding and protecting property removed from houses in danger of being “scooped in” by the flames.

Mr. M.E. Joyce, lost all his clothes, two barrels of whiskey, one barrel of brandy, a fire stock and all his glassware and fixtures.

Billy Nash of the engine company was severely hurt by a falling building. He rendered good service and was wounded in the conscientious discharge of his duty. He should not be forgotten.

Continued