Moclips, WA Town Fire, Jan 1948

Washington Town Ravaged by Fire, Appeals for Help.

SEATTLE -- Coast Guard headquarters said Monday night the Moclips, Wash., police department reported "nearly half" that small community on the Washington coast approximately 25 miles north of Hoquiam had been destroyed by fire.

Immediate assistance was requested by the police, and the Coast Guard dispatched two fire truck pumpers from its Westport, Wash., station.

The call for aid was relayed here from Westport by Coast Guard radio after the Moclips police had gotten through by telephone to the station. The town has a population of approximately 400.

Idaho Statesman, Boise, ID 27 Jan 1948


Flames Raze Coastal Town

HOQUIAM, Wash., Jan. 27 -- Two thirds of the business district of the small coastal community of Moclips, 27 miles north of here, lay in ashes Tuesday and at least five families were homeless after sparks from a welding torch touched off a fire in the basement of a commercial garage, the state patrol reported.

The blaze started in the Percy Houghton garage about 8:30 P.M., the patrol reported, and was brought under control around midnight.

There were no casualties. Damage was estimated by property owners at $150,000.
Whipped by a strong east wind, the fire swept through the business district to destroy the post office, garage, a grocery, cafe and gift shop. Five homes were burned.

Phone Office Burns
The razed post office housed the community's telephone exchange and the region still was shut off from outside communication early Tuesday. State patrol and coast guard radio equipment was pressed into service.

Coastguardsmen from Westport, Wash., station patrolled the area to prevent looting, and members of the Hoquiam and Aberdeen Red Crosss [sic] disaster relief units prepared to establish headquarters for the homeless in the unused navy training station at Pacific Beach, to miles south of Moclips.

Mrs. C. W. Alley of Pacific Beach offered ten empty cabins as temporary housing for families whose homes were burned.

Pumper trucks from the coast guard station and volunteer fire department at Westport and the Hoquiam and Aberdeen fire departments fought the blaze for nearly four hours after speeding to the ocean community under state patrol escort.

Oregonian, Portland, OR 28 Jan 1948


Finds Diamond Ring

MOCLIP, Feb. 7 -- After sifting several bushels of ashes, Tony Norberg found a diamond ring belonging to Mrs. Percy Houghton whose home burned to the ground Jan. 26 in a fire that destroyed two-thirds of the Moclips business district. Norberg used the same technique he practiced in earlier days as a miner.
Paper: Tri-City Herald, Pasco, WA 7 Feb 1948