Ellensburg, WA Fire, Jul 1889

Ellensburg WASH fire 1889.jpg



ELLENSBURG, Washington, July 5. - Ten blocks of the best portion of this city are in ashes. Nearly one hundred families are homeless, and what was yesterday a thriving and imposing business centre is now a mass of ashes and burning cinders. Owing to the excitement and confusion that prevails at this early morning hour, it is impossible to ascertain how the fire originated, but it is presumed that it was the result of the celebration of the national holiday.

The flames started on the north side of the city about 10 o'clock at night, and with a very strong wind blowing from the northeast. The Fire Department could do nothing to check the rapid advance of the flames, which, within an hour, spread to the business centre.

Help was telegraphed for from the neighboring towns, but long before it could reach the scene the flames had literally wiped out the heart of the city, and had commenced to spread among the residences on the south side. It was not until the main portion of the food for the fire had been consumed that there were any signs of abatement, and it was nearly morning before the firemen secured any result from their tireless efforts.

All of the leading hotels, the handsome Nash Opera House block, the City Hall, the Board of Trade Building, Snipe & Co.'s bank, in fact all of the business blocks on Pine and Pearl and Third, Fourth, and Fifth streets, are consumed excepting only the First National Bank Building.

Bloomer & O'Connor's dry goods house, H. Gotzien's boot and shoe store, one saloon, and one general store remain standing to mark the spot where flourished yesterday a beautiful and prosperous business centre.

The loss is about $2,000,000, three-quarters of a million in buildings and a million and a quarter in goods.

There are about one hundred and fifty people destitute. Mayor Abrams has called a meeting of citizens to take action for relief.

The New York Times, New York, NY 6 Jul 1889