Grand Forks, ND Business Section Fire, Dec 1897


Grand Forks, Dec. 17. -- Fire started at 4:30 o'clock this morning in the basement of the Nash wholesale grocery and fruit house and before the flames were checked, nearly, half a million dollars worth of property had been destroyed.
The buildings destroyed include the Hotel Dacotah and those of the Grand Forks Mercantile company, Nash Bros., W. W. Fegau, Robert Bergh, John Austin and the Peerless Machine company.
The fire after it had secured a good headway in the building of Nash Bros. worked around behind the Hotel Dacotah from the railroad track and the front portion of the building was the last to go.
Guests and employes of the hotel had many narrow escapes, and most of them were compelled to seek safety by means of the fire escapes. The hands and feet of several of them were frozen, but fortunately there were no worse casualties in connection with the destruction of the hotel. Nearly all of the guests who escaped from the hotel were clad only in their night clothes.
AL HOWE and his wife, who lived over Nash brothers store, are missing and it is feared they have perished in the flames. So far as known there were no other fatalities.
The Batholomew block, which is across the street from the Dacotah, had a narrow escape, but was saved by the heavy fire wall.
The entire block in which the burned buildings were located was destroyed with the exception of the Shutt fifty feet, which was saved by a heavy protecting wall.
The loss on buildings is placed at $265,000 and on stocks and furnishings at $200,000, making a total loss of nearly half a million, the insurance about half.
All business houses have wired for stocks and will open at once.

Bismarck Daily Tribune North Dakota 1897-12-17