Eau Claire, WI Fire, Apr 1882



ST. PAUL, Minn., April 24. - A special from Eau Claire, Wis., to the Pioneer-Press to-night says that one of the most destructive fires that has ever occurred in that city commenced this afternoon at 3 o'clock in a small barn in the rear of Kinnear's store, in the Pioneer Block. The steam-boat Minnie Herman passed a few minutes previous to the discovery of the fire, and it is supposed a cinder from the chimney caused the total destruction of no less than four blocks, partly composing the business portion of the west side of the river. The spark lodged under the barn, in which were stored inflammable materials, partly composed of kerosene, powder, straw, &c. Scarcely was the discovery of the flames made when a brisk wind drove them into the oil and powder, which exploded whith a loud report. The was directly in the heart of the business part of the city. Windows were blown out and smoke followed, which rendered it impossible to save any of the contents of many of the stores. At present writing several dwellings are burning, but the fire is under control. The total loss of property will not be less than $275,000. The following buildings were destroyed: A. Kinnear's drug store; loss on stock, $4,000; barn and contents, loss, $500; insured for $4,000. Loss on one-third of the Pioneer Block, $8,000; partially insured. Empire Lumber Company, general stock of merchandise andgoods removed in bad condition; loss, $20,000; insurance, $15,000. The fixtures were all destroyed; loss on the share of the Pioneer Block, $8,000; clothing department of the same company, loss $8,000, insurance, $5,000, goods generally damaged by removal. Mr. Hoffman lost all his fixtures; loss on share in Pioneer Block, $700; loss on stock, $3,000; insured for $1,500; insurance on his part of the building, $3,000. Leader Publishing Company, loss of type and material, $1,800; slight insurance; will issue a paper tomorrow and afterward until new stock can be obtained. The Pioneer Block, which was a handsome building, three stories high, was erected four years ago, and occupied by the firms above mentioned. The second story was divided into offices, and the third story was occupied until recently by Chippewa Commandery, No. 8, Knights Templar. The building is a total loss, and was valued at $25,000. Only a small portion is left intact. The law firm of Ellis & Saulsberry occupied a portion of the second story; loss $800 on library.

The fire also swept the branch Post Office station, but the mail was saved. Pearson's clothing store lost $10,000 in stock; more than covered by $25,000 insurance. The city engine-house was wiped out. The Klemer Block and all the substantial buildings in Fifth-avenue shared the common fate. A number of business and residence properties went down in the common ruin. The total number of buildings destroyed is 63.

The New York Times, New York, NY 25 Apr 1882