Colorado Springs, CO Business Section Fire, Oct 1898
ANTLERS IN RUINS.
COLORADO SPRINGS FAMOUS HOSTELRY BURNED.
ENTIRE CITY WAS THREATENED.
STRIP FOUR BLOCKS LONG AND TWO WIDE FIRESWEPT.
LOSS ESTIMATED AT A MILLION DOLLARS -- HELP FROM DENVER AND PUEBLO SAVED THE CITY -- FIRE WAS FANNED BY A TERRIFIC GALE.
Colorado Springs, Col., Oct. 1. -- This city had a visitation of fire this afternoon which threatened for four hours to destroy the entire business district. The wind was blowing at the rate of forty-five miles an hour from the southwest when the fire started, at the Denver & Rio Grande freight depot, at the foot of Cucheras Street, at 2:10 p.m., and the flames spread with great rapidity.
A strip four blocks long from north to south, and two blocks wide from east to west, was burned over, and the flames would not have been checked there but for assistance from Denver and Pueblo.
The Antlers Hotel, one of the largest in the West, the lumber yards and two blocks of business houses were destroyed. In round numbers the loss is estimated at $1,000,000, insured for one-half that amount. The losses estimated are as follows:
Antlers Hotel, $350,000.
Newton Lumber Company, $60,000.
El Paso Lumber Company, $35,000.
Irvine & Sons, blacksmith, $2,000.
Denver & Rio Grando railroad, $30,000.
Gulf Depot, $5,000.
Home Hotel, $3,500.
General losses of business firms and individuals not enumerated, $465,000.
The fire started in a pile of rubbish underneath the platform of the Denver & Rio Grande freight depot. Within five minutes it had communicated to freight cars standing at the depot, and it spread so rapidly that it was impossible to move any of the cars. Half a car of powder consigned to G. S. Barnes & Son exploded.
The cans were thrown for hundreds of feet, and the wonder is that nobody was injured. Then came the terrible danger to the city. Great chunks of fire were scattered about, and in a few moments the Crissey & Fowler lumber yards, 500 feet away, were burning. The wind was sweeping a perfect hurricane. The flames rushed through the lumber yards and burned all the light frame buildings in the block. Then they leaped across the street and burned the El Paso Lumber Company and the paint establishment of Sperry & Tuckerman. A few minutes after the Newton lumber yards caught.
For a time after this, it looked as if the Antlers might be saved, but the heat was too great. There was not water enough to send a stream half way up the building. At 4 o'clock, it was burning on the south end and the famous hotel was doomed.
The colored employes of the hostelry showed great intrepidity in climbing out of the upper windows in the face of an infernal heat and pouring water upon the fire through a small hose. They left their posts only after the heat became positively unbearable.
Down below, the firemen were also directing streams upon the buildings, but the water pressure had become so reduced that the streams were of little effect. The contour of the buildings, the upper stories of which were of wood, served to make a succession of smoke-stacks along the sides, and it was but a few moments until the smoke and flames were leaping from nearly every window.
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