Brainerd, MN Business District Fire, June 1903



Special to The Globe.
Brainerd, Minn., June 7. -- Brainerd was visited by one of the worst fires in its history this afternoon, and for some time the business district of the city was threatened. The fire broke out in the Armstrong Hotel, situated on lower Front Street, and although the department responded quickly, great loss of property resulted on account of very low pressure of water which made it almost impossible for the men to cope with the flames, fanned by the high wind.
Before the fire was checked buildings in a whole block in the business district were consumed, entailing a loss of $30,650. The loss would have been much greater but for the fact that the wind changed at the critical moment and the fire headed in another direction. Armstrong Hotel, one of the best in the city, was completely consumed, and this is the heaviest loss. Very little insurance was carried, something less than $8,000 on the entire number of buildings burned.
The fire broke out in one of the rooms of the hotel, and spread rapidly to adjoining buildings. On several occasions roofs of other buildings caught fire. R. L. WEEKS, a fireman, had his hand badly burned, and SAM WEEKS, FRANK FULLER and E. M. PETERS were overcome by heat and smoke and nearly perished.
The following is a list of losses:
Armstrong Hotel, hotel furniture, barn and contents, $19,000; insurance, $6,000.
Peter Wolvert, household furniture, $100; no insurance.
Mrs. Lena Shupe, household furniture, $50; no insurance.
James Gillespie, frame building and stock of harnesses and other goods, $3,000; no insurance.
Adam Bellmuth, laundry fixtures, $200; no insurance.
P. J. Kelly, blacksmith shop and stock, $3,500; insurance, $550; and household furniture, $1,200; insurance, $500.
Mrs. Mattie Winters, household furniture, $400; no insurance.
Mrs. Charlotte McGillis, residence and household furniture, $1,200; insurance, $700.
Len Maple, household furniture, $200; no insurance.
Richard Thompson, household furniture, $300; no insurance.
A. A. White, barn, $500; fully insured.
Mrs. J. M. Gray, building, $250; no insurance.

St. Paul Globe Minnesota 1903-06-08