Astoria, Oregon Fire
December 8, 1922
Astoria, Ore., Dec. 8 --
The business district of Astoria, the oldest
city in Oregon is in ruins, hundreds of persons
are homeless and property loss estimated around
$15,000,00 has been caused by a fire which
earlier today broke out in a restaurant and was
beyond control of local firemen
who resorted to dynamiting in a vain effort to
stop the conflagration. For ten hours the
flames held away, enting an ever-widening path
through the city until shortly after noon.
At that time, largely because it had burned
itself out, the fire was under control.
newspaper plants, hotels, stores, theaters and
numerous buildings housing a variety of business
places were wiped out. According to
Chief S. B. Foster, the fire
got out of control because it burned beneath the
buildings under piling upon which the business
section of the city was built. He
attributed the disaster to failure to fill in
the space beneath the piling.
Norris Staples, automobile man
and president of the Bank of Commerce, dropped dead of heart failure
while the fire was at its height.
The body of
C. J. Smith, a
transient, was found hanging under the sidewalk but whether he had
ended his life because of the fire or for other reasons the police
were unable to learn.
Thirty blocks were wiped out
by flames. Many homes the older residence district were
destroyed and about 50 families living in an apartment house were
made homeless. In addition to these, many persons occupying
rooms in the destroyed area lost everything they had except the
clothes on their bucks.
Portland Sends Help. A
committee of citizens headed by Mayor James Bremmer began plans for
immediate relief measures. They were assured of help from
Portland and Seaside. Every restaurant and hotel in the city
had been destroyed and stocks of food in the stores had been wiped
out, so there was prospect of suffering.
Portland bakeries sent loads
of bread and Seaside sent word that the hotel there was open to
receive those without shelter and a large number of summer cottages
at the beach resorts also were to be offered to the homeless.
Homes in the residence district also were thrown open to give aid
and food to the needy.
The Y. M. C. A. building,
which was outside the fire zone, was opened as the headquarters of
all welfare agencies.
The Budget, afternoon paper,
which attempted to get out an edition today on the press of the
paper at seaside, found this impracticable, and instead issued
J. S. Dellinger,
the Astoria, the morning paper, announced that he would probably get
out tomorrow morning's edition on the press of the local Finnish
daily, The Tovert.
Journal, Reno, NV, December 9,
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