Minneapolis, MN incendiary fires, May 1883



MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., May 29. - About 12 o'clock last night a fire broke out on the east side in Wheaton & Reynold's lumber yard and a shingle yard belonging to Merriman, Barrows & Co., causing a loss of nearly $44,000, on which there is insurance to the amount of $23,000. Aville, Russell & Carpenter's warehouse, at Second-street and Second-avenue, south, filled with rags, was destroyed, causing a loss of $4,000. Another fire started about 11:30 o'clock last night in the rear of Dunning's feed store, in Washington avenue, north. Considerable damage was done before the spread of the fire could be checked. Dunning's loss about $5,000. Elliott, Millard & Co., commission merchants, who occupy the adjoining building, lost about $4,500 on stock. G. L. Richards & Co., real estate dealers, lost rather heavily. The whole loss sustained by the different firms was in the vicinity of $12,000. Several other fires occurred during the afternoon, making 10 in all, between morning of Monday and this morning.

The total loss is about $75,000, with insurance of $42,200. There is no doubt that all, or nearly all, of these fires were the acts of an incendiary, though what the motive was no one has yet been able to divine. Rumors of fleeing men who were seen on the east side soon after the fires broke out are rife, but they generally lack confirmation. The officers are diligently following every clue, and hope to be able to bring the "fire bugs" to justice. Several men who were prowling around the east side yards last night were run in by the police on suspicion, and will probably be sent to jail for vagrancy.

The New York Times, New York, NY 30 May 1883