Superior, WI Tower Hotel Fire, Jan 1893


The Hotel Tower, at Superior, Destroyed By Fire.


The Hotel, Valued at $50,000, Entirely Consumed.

The Duluth Fire Department Has an Opportunity to Return Recent Favors.

WEST SUPERIOR, Wis., Special, Jan. 27, 1.30 o'clock a. m. - Fire at 10 o'clock tonight destroyed property valued at $70,000, and it is possible two lives have been lost, as two or three people are missing. The fire broke out in the Tower hotel. As soon as the first of the fire department arrived they saw that the flames had gained great headway and a general alarm was turned in.

The fire started in the rear of the hotel from a defunct gas jet, getting in between ceiling and the roof. Whenever the firemen would enter a room and break in the ceiling the flames would shoot out. The fire continued to gain headway and about 11 o'clock a telegram was sent for the Duluth fire department. They responded at 11 o'clock with a hose wagon and an engine.

All the guests, about fifty regular boarders and fifteen transients, got out of the building safely, and the employes, about thirty in number, were also safely rescued.

The International bank and Johnson's drug store, in the same block, are losers, but cannot tell to what extent. About half of the furniture of the hotel was saved. The furniture is valued at from $15,000 to $17,000, and was full insured. The building was valued at $25,000, and was insured for about three-fourths of its value.

Saved by Her Son.

One woman was saved by her son, who climbed up on a telegraph pole and rescued her from the third story. More of the buildings on the block will probably burn. The hotel is a total loss. At 12 o'clock the firemen abandoned the structure and bent their efforts to saving the adjoining buildings. Ten streams are now playing on the fire, but a strong northeast wind is blowing, and the Windsor hotel, across the street, has several times caught on fire.

Rumored Loss of Life.

It is rumored that two people have lost their lives. A servant girl named Kittie Zeweck was rescued from her room by the firemen in an unconscious condition. Capt. Couger is among the missing, but it is not sure he was in the building. The Agen block caught fire but was extinguished with slight loss. Frank Matchett, the proprietor of the hotel, is in Chicago. The hotel was owned by Ira W. Burhans of this city, and was the first hotel built in West Superior. It was of brick, but was a veritable fire trap. The loss on the building will exceed $50,000.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 28 Jan 1893

Superior Hotel Fire - Duluth Department Summoned Unofficially.

SUPERIOR, Special, Jan 29 - All that remains standing of the Hotel Tower is a part of the north wall. It develops today that the Duluth fire department was called upon for aid by an excited insurance agent representing a company which had written $500 insurance on the building. The mayor and chief are pretty hot, as they consider outside help was unnecessary. The hotel was doomed, and it was apparent that unless the wind shifted the local department could save the adjacent buildings. It is probable that an investigation wll be ordered by the council.

The guests of the hotel saved nearly all of their clothing, though of course losing many little trinkets. About half of the servant girls lost all their clothing.

There was $11,000 insurance on the furniture, valued at $12,000, and $20,000 on the building, valued at from $50,000 to $75,000. It is probable that the hotel will be reconstructed.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 30 Jan 1893