South Porcupine, ON Forest Fire, Jul 1911


Greatest Catastrophe in Forest Fires Appears to Be at South Porcupine, Starvation Threatened.

Toronto, July 13.---The greatest catastrophe appears to have occurred at South Porcupine, where 600 persons sought refuge on the lake. Of these, 200, many of them women with children in their arms, lost their lives. Boats that had put off from the shore were upset by squalls.

Telegrams give the total number of deaths of West Dome as twenty-five. The destitute survivors have appealed for funds.

Reports received at North Bay from the fire zone at Porcupine are hourly growing worse, and in addition to fifty coffins previously shipped, a carload was sent in today. It is estimated the death roll will be hundreds, while thousands of men are straggling into the settlements severely burned and wearied to the limit of human endurance. Everyone brings reports of many bodies lying along trails and at the edge of small lakes where the fire overcame them.

The wind was blowing sixty miles an hour and Porcupine Lake was lashed into a fury of mountainous waves in the face of which boatman conveyed women and children from South Porcupine to Golden City. A car of dynamite standing on the railway track exploded, but no one was injured.

The women and children are coming from Porcupine and other fire-swept centers. General Agent Lee of the Government Railway came out with 500 women and children from Conchane.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 14 Jul 1911



Philadelphia Stockholder in Porcupine Mine Gets Dispatch from Burning Districts in Canada.

Philadelphia, Pa., July 13.----A dispatch received here today by A. E. Freeman a stockholder of the Philadelphia mine at Porcupine, Ontario, says:

"A desperate hurricane fire swept Porcupine district, Pottsville and South Porcupine. Sixteen mines were completely wiped out and burned, the Philadelphia mine among them. Charles Adam's heart gave out in the midst of the excitement. Ashmore, our general manager, was seriously injured. One workman is dead. Hundreds drowned and burned.

"An awful wind blew eighty miles and hour and rendered the fire-breakers useless. The Dome mine, with a fire-breaker of 600 feet width, went with the rest. Over 200 men were smothered to death in the tunnel."

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 14 Jul 1911



Injured and Dying Men in Box Cars Arrive at Englehart.

Englehart, Ont., July 12.---A special train from Porcupine bearing 250 refugees pulled into Englehart today. Behind, in a section composed of three box cars, were twenty-two injured men, three women lying on blankets and two corpses of men who had died during the journey.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 14 Jul 1911


H. Levinson, of Montreal, who came out today, was caught by flames at Standard Porcupine mine with eight others, but all escaped, running three miles through burning forests to Edwards lake, where they found 250 people gathered on the banks and in the water. Levinson crossed the West Dome property and saw the body of William King, a well known mining man, lying beside the shaft. The women and children, all who could, took refuge in the shaft, but fire burned the timbering and all were suffocated, including Manager Burke and his wife and three other women with children.

The Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, WA 15 Jul 1911