Ortonville, MN newspaper plant fire, May 1921


Star Office Scene of Fire of Unknown Origin - Extent of Damage Is Unknown.

Fire supposed to have originated in a bunch of papers in a box just under the basement stairway caused considerable damage to the press and building of the Ortonville Star last Tuesday about midnight.

Application of chemicals stopped the flames before they could creep up to the main floor of the building.

That the fire started about 11:30 o'clock is the opinion held. Mr. Cowles who is in charge of the paper was in the building until 11:00 o'clock, and at that time there was no indication of fire or smoke.

Persons passing the place about 11:45 saw flames thru one of the basement windows and the alarm was turned in immediately.

The exact extent of the damage is not known. The rubber on all the rollers for he press was melted, and damage by water and chemicals was done to the press. Only the stairway and a small section of the west wall was burned.

How the fire started is not known. Persons connected with the paper said that after an investigation of the basement and the nature of the fire they were convinced that it was started by some one antagonistic to the paper.

Insurance mounting to $8,800 was carried on the equipment, stock and machinery. The building is not owned by the Star.

The Ortonville Independent, Ortonville, MN 19 May 1921