Duluth, MN St Louis Hotel Fire, Jan 1893


The Belief that Many Persons Were Cremated Almost Positively Confirmed.

Duluth, Minn., Jan. 14.--At 7 o’clock last evening there was no reason to doubt that two lives had been lost in the fire which entirely destroyed the St. Louis hotel at noon yesterday. The two missing men are Baggageman BAUDRE and Brakeman PRESTON, of Marquette, who came in from the South Shore train yesterday morning. The men registered at the hotel, and when the fire broke out at 10:30 both were asleep. Conductor James, of the same train crew, was only a few doors from them. He barely made his escape, but tried to arouse the two men. The smoke was terrible, and though he did his best, he could not warn them. They were probably already overcome with the smoke and gas. The night clerk also made an attempt to awaken them, but without success.

After the middle of the building was burned out and there was no means of going from one side to the other, Chief of Police Horgan saw a number of people at windows on Michigan street, who he is certain did not escape from that side,. He thinks they must have perished in the flames.

The servants scattered after the fire and it is impossible to find who are missing. A bell boy named Saunders and a scrub woman named Oleson are among those who are missing.

The building was a brick veneer and burned like paper. The fire started from a gas explosion in the sub-basement, and in a moment burned up through the elevator shaft and the wooden partitions. Nearly every one on the upper floors had to be taken out of the windows, so quickly was escape shutoff. In the offices of the city ticket agent of the Omaha railroad and of the American Express Co., on the ground floor, there was not even time to remove the money from the cash drawers. The express company lost 200 undelivered packages. Their value is estimated at $3,000.

The fire threatened the Brighton hotel for a time, but was confined to the St. Louis. Both buildings were owned by the Boston Realty Co. The total loss of property is estimated at $185,000; insurance $98,000.

Decatur Daily Republican, Decatur, IL 14 Jan 1893