Detroit-Belle Isle, MI Bridge Destroyed By Fire, Apr 1915
BRIDGE BETWEEN DETROIT AND BELLE ISLE BURNED.
LOSS $250,000 -- TAR WAGON IN CROSSING STRUCTURE SAID TO HAVE STARTED FIRE.
Detroit, April 27. -- The Belle Isle bridge, connecting Detroit and Belle Isle at East Grand Boulevard and Jefferson avenues, three miles from the center of the city, was practically destroyed by fire late this afternoon. Shortly after the outbreak of the blaze, the entire center span of the bridge collapsed and fell into the river. The fire is said to have started brom a tar wagon crossing the bridge. No loss of life is reported.
A city engineer estimated the total damage at $250,000, and said that the bridge, the only one which links Detroit to Belle Isle, will have to be entirely rebuilt.
Firemen were obliged to employ spectacular methods to prevent a possible spread of the flames. Fire boats poured tons of water on the structure as dozens of firemen hacked away at the center span.
When the fire was discovered, automobiles to the number of fifty or more were on the island, and one daring driver, after a wild dash, piloted his machine safety to the mainland. Boats, large and small, carried hundreds of people back to Detroit. The heat had made the island an attractive spot during the afternoon.
The bridge was built in 1889. Last winter the city council acted favorably upon a resolution to build a second bridge to the island.
The Marshall News-Statesman Michigan 1915-04-28