Cranbrook Fire Protection: 0051.0326

CRANBROOK’S FIRST FIRE. -  Several Houses Were Left In Total Ruins. – The Origin Is Unknown Now. – For A Time It Looked Very Dangerous for the Business Portion. – The Town Had A Narrow Escape. –

                At last Cranbrook has had a fire.  After four years of good luck, it came, and although the losses were not so heavy, yet it was fortunate that all of the business street was not flame swept.

            About four o’clock Monday morning flames were discovered in a pile of slabs next to R.S. McNeil’s house, on Durick avenue.  The alarm was given and two engines in the yard took up the refrain and by persistent whistling aroused nearly the whole town.  There were ready hands and willing hearts and at once a brigade of hard workers started in to save all the property that was possible.  There was no wind and in consequence the only current of air was that caused by the flames.  The buildings were frame and of course burned rapidly, and it was soon demonstrated that those situated in the bunch were doomed, and the best plan was to devote all efforts to prevent the spread of the flames to other buildings in the neighbourhood.  The line of hose was run from the townsite office corner, but found to be too short, and it was changed to the hydrant at the station, and a stream of water turned loose that did effective work.  A number of men who said little but worked hard, tore down fences and out houses, thus aiding very materially in confining the fire to a closer area.  For a time it looked as if the two story building of Henry Parker’s was bound to go, but persistent effort saved it, and undoubtedly many buildings beyond it.  The flames soon covered the McNeil house, and bakery occupied by Wright brothers, and then fairly danced upon the two story building owned by MacIntomency brothers.  Long before the first building was in ruins, the roof of the other was falling in.  Next to the two story building was the story and a half cottage owned by A. St. Elois, and occupied by C. Barney, and that was soon a total loss.

            Even with no wind to speak of, large burning cinders were carried as far up town as P. Burns & Co.’s corner, and had it not been for the heavy frost that night, fires may have started in other places.  R.E. Beattie kept the roof of his place wet, and others followed suit.

            The losses were as follows:

            A. St. Elois, house.     $1,000, insurance $700.

            C. Barney, furniture, saved nearly all of it.

            MacIntomency brothers, two story double house, loss $1,500, no insurance known.

            J. Patton, household furniture, lost.

            R.S. McNeil, house a loss, furniture partly saved, insurance $500.

            Wright brothers, bakery, loss bakers’ outfit, no insurance.

            The cause of the fire is unknown.  It has been rumoured that it was not on the square, but yet there seems to be no positive circumstances pointing that way.

            For a time it looked as if Geary & Doyle’s stable and the Cranbrook hotel were bound to go.  Paul Handley had a four horse load of powder at the stable ready to start for the North Star mine, and he hurried out his horses and took the load to a place of safety on the prairie near the school house.

            The loss incurred by the individuals is to be deplored, and on the whole the escape for the town was a narrow one.  The next day a substantial subscription was raised for the Patton family to tide them over after losing all they had.

0051.0326: Cranbrook Fire Protection

Reporting on first fire in four years that almost took the business district.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  April 3, 1902
Pages:  1
Publisher:  Cranbrook Herald
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0051)


fire losses business street flames fire engines whistling brigade property buildings hydrant fire station house powder


People arrow Beattiearrow
People arrow Barneyarrow
People arrow Handleyarrow
People arrow McNeilarrow
People arrow MacIntomencyarrow
People arrow Parkerarrow
People arrow Pattonarrow
People arrow St. Eloisarrow
People arrow Wrightarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Services arrow Fire Department and Firesarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Street Names arrow 7th Avenue Sarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Street Names arrow Durick Avenuearrow
Industry arrow Mining arrow Mines arrow North Star Minearrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Bakeriesarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Hotels, Motels, Boarding Houses arrow Cranbrook Hotelarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Livery Stables arrow Gearyarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Schoolsarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Butchers arrow Burns and Co [Cbk]arrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Buildings arrow Townsite Officearrow
Transportation arrow Railways arrow Buildings arrow Stations arrow Cranbrook C.P.R.arrow


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