Ashland, WI Mine Fire, Apr 1889



ASHLAND, Wis., April 29. - The Aurora Mine is at present the scene of the most disasterous mine fire that has ever taken place on the Gogebic Range. Fire was discovered a about 11 o'clock yesterday morning in Shaft 6, about two hundred feet under ground. It was burning very slowly at the time of discovery and no serious danger was apprehended. Efforts were made to smother it, but without success. It now envelops the whole mine, uncontrolled and possibly uncontrollable. The spread of the fire was facilitated by numerous open shafts of the mine. Flames and smoke were issuing last night out of several shafts in such volumes as to endanger the boiler house and buildings, but these were finally saved by the greatest exertions.

The fire is burning to-night with increased vigor and is steadily gaining a surer foothold. Great volumes of steam and smoke are issuing from various shafts, and the draughts of air that at times gush forth are powerful enough to sustain the body of a man from falling. The services of the Hurley fire engine have been secured and it is pumping water into Shaft 6, but the blinding smoke which issues from the mine makes it impossible to locate the exact places where the fire is doing the greatest damage.

Two of the main shafts are already fully consumed, and it is the opinion of experienced mining men that the fire will be extinguished only when it has done its work by consuming everything in its way. The probable loss cannot be estimated at present, but will be very large. The Aurora Mine is one of "the big four" of the Gogebic range and was formerly one of the Moore-Benjamin properties, but is at present owned by Cleveland parties. Four hundred men will be thrown out of work.

The New York Times, New York, NY 30 Apr 1889