Ellensburg, WA Fire, Jul 1889
SASTROUS [sic] FIRE.
ELLENSBURG, W. T., July 5. - A fire started last evening at 10 o'clock. The entire business portion, over one hundred housed, was consumed. The loss is estimated at $100,000. No lives lost.
DETAILS COMING IN.
ELLLENSBURG, W. T. July 5. - Then blocks of the best portion of the city are in ashes and nearly a hundred families are homeless and what was yesterday a thriving business center is now a mass of ruins.
Owing to the excitement and confusion it is impossible to ascertain how the fire originated, but it is presumed it was the result of the celebration of the national holiday as it started soon after the display of fire works last evening.
The flames started on the north side of the city about 10 o'clock in the evening and with a very strong wind blowing from the northeast.
The fire department was promptly called out but could do nothing to check the rapid advance of the conflagration, which within and hour spread to the business center.
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 commenced to spread among the residence portion of the city on the south side.
Not until the main portion of food for the fire had been consumed were there any signs of abatement and it was nearly morning before the firemen secured any results from their tireless efforts.
The cessation of the wind had a tendency to aid the firemen in checking the progress of the fire and at this hour it is thought the flames are under control or will be confined to the buildings now burning.
While it is impossible to form a close idea of the amount of loss it is estimated that it will run up to many hundreds of thousands of dollars. All of the leading hotels, the handsome Nash opera house block, the city hall, board of trade building, Snipes & Co's bank, in fact all the business blocks on Hine and Pearl and Fourth and Fifth streets were consumed, excepting the First National bank building, Bloomer & O'Connor's dry goods house, Geotzeins shoe store, one saloon and one general store where flourished yesterday a prosperous business center.
The number of residences destroyed cannot be now estimated, but it is known that over 100 families are homeless, penniless and with nothing left to save a few scant clothed.
Help has been asked and is badly needed, not only in suppressing the fire, but in caring for the homeless victims of the conflagration.
ELLENSBURG, W. T. July 5. - The loss as far as can be ascertained is $2,000,000. $750,000 in buildings and $1,250,000 in goods. There are about 750 people destitute.
Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, CO 6 Jul 1889
Transcribed by Jenni Lanham.