Goldfield, NV Fire, Jul 1923

Goldfield NV Town Fire 7-1923.jpg




Tonopah, Nev. - The town of Goldfield, with the exception of six buildings, was burned to the ground. One man is dead from causes attributable to the fire, a woman is missing and is believed to have perished and several persons were treated for burns as the result of the conflagration now believed to have been incendiary origin, started as part of a bootleggers' feud.

Fire Chief I. N. Galliac of Goldfield, declared that he believed an enemy of a known bootlegger started the blaze in a building in the rear of the Brown- Parker garage.

Van D. McArthur, after carrying furniture from his burning home, was overcome by heart failure and succumbed, according to Dr. Charles R. Blake of the Esmeralda county hospital at Goldfield.

Although the county hospital was not burned, the ten patients there were removed by Dr. Blake and his wife when the fire threatened.

The fire swept Main street from end to end, reducing the big Cook Bank and Nye County Bank buildings to heaps of smoldering ruins and leaving many other blackened and smoldering ruins in its wake and jumped across the Columbia avenue, where it threatened to the postoffice and the leading hotel. An attempt to dynamite out a fire trail proved futile in the face of the wind and the futility of this endeavor was intensified by the virtual failure of the water supply. The water is drawn from a spring several miles from the town.

Thirty automobiles were burned in the Brown & Parker garage, where the fire is said to have started.

The main buildings surviving the fire are: The hospital, railroad station, old John S. Cook Bank building, Goldfield hotel, postoffice and Elks club.

A group of miners' shacks on the outskirts of the town are being rehabilitated under the direction of a relief committee, which is looking after the homeless. The Elks club is also aiding in this work.

"Goldfield will come back," was the word sent here after the camp had made a hasty estimate of its losses and placed them at, perhaps $1,500,000.

Foodstuffs and clothing were rushed into the burned town from nearby communities principally from Tonopah, where the Nye county commissioners hastily formed a relief committee during the day.

Tonopah raised a fund for the relief of the sufferers and caravans of automobiles and trucks laden with food were dispatched to the stricken town.

It was the second great fire to visit the south desert in a little more than a decade, the business section of Tonopah having been wiped out in the summer of 1912. The cause of the fire was unknown.

Akron Weekly Pioneer Press, Akron, CO 13 Jul 1923