Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
Newspaper Page Text
The Call Chronicle Examiner.
EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE: SAN FRANCISCO IN RUINS DEATH AND DESTRUCTION HAVE BEEN THE FATE OF SAN FRANCISCO. SHAKEN BY (A TEMBLOR AT 5:13 O'CLOCK YESTERDAY MORNING/ THE SHOCK LASTING 48 SECONDS, AND SCOURGED BY FLAMES THAT RAGED DIAMETRICALLY IN ALL DIRECTIONS, THE CITY IS A MASS OF SMOULDERING RUINS. AT SIX O'CLOCK LAST EVENING THE FLAMES SEEM INGLY PLAYING WITH INCREASED VIGOR, THREATENED TO. DESTROY SUCH SECTIONS AS THEIR FURY HAD SPARED DURING THE EARLIER PORTION OF THE DAY. BUILDING THEIR : PATH IN A TRIANGUAR CIRCUIT FROM THE START IN THE EARLY MORNING, THEY JOCKEYED AS THE DAY WANED, LEFT THE BUSINESS SECTION, WHICH THEY HAD ENTIRELY DE VASTATED, AND SKIPPED IN A DOZEN DIRECTIONS TO THE RESIDENCE PORTIONS. AS NIGHT FELL THEY HAD MADE THEIR WAY OVER INTO THE NORTH BEACH SECTION AND SPRINGING ANEW TO THE SOUTH THEY REACHED OUT ALONG THE SHIPPING SECTION DOWN THE BAY SHORE, OVER THE HILLS AND ACROSS TOWARD THIRD AND TOWNSEND STREETS. WAREHOUSES, WHOLESALE HOUSES AND MANUFACTURING CONCERNS FELL IN THEIR PATH. THIS COMPLETED THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ENTIRE DISTRICT KNOWN AS THE "SOUTH OF MARKET STREET.- HOW FAR THEY ARE REACHING TO THE SOUTH ACROSS THE CHANNEL CANNOT BE TOLD AS THIS PART OF THE CITY IS SHUT OFF FROM SAN FRANCISCO PAPERS. . j AFTER DARKNESS,THOUSANDS OF THE HOMELESS WERE MAKING THEIR WAY WITH THEIR BLANKETS AND SCANT PROVISIONS TO GOLDEN GATE PARK AND THE BEACH TO FIND SHELTER. THOSE IN THE HOMES ON THE HILLS JUST NORTH OF THE HAVES VALLEY WRECKED SECTION PILED THEIR BELONGINGS IN THE STREETS AND EXPRESS WAG ONS AND AUTOMOBILES WERE HAULING THE THINGS AWAY TO THE SPARSELY SETTLED REGIONS. EVERYBODY IN SAN FRANCISCO IS PREPARED TO LEAVE THE CITY, FOR THE BELIEF IS FIRM THAT SAN FRANCISCO WILL BE TOTALLY DESTROYED. ; DOWNTOWN EVERYTHING IS RUIN. NCT A BUSINESS HOUSE STANDS. THEATRES ARE CRUMBLED INTO HEAPS. FACTORIES AND COMMISSION HOUSES LIE SMOULDERING ON . THEIR FORMER SITES. ALL OF THE NEWSPAPER PLANTS HAVE BEEN RENDERED USELESS, THE "CALL" AND THE "EXAMINER" BUILDINGS, EXCLUDING THE "CALL'S" EDITORIAL \ ROOMS ON STEVENSON STREET BEING ENTIRELY DESTROYED. IT IS ESTIMATE^ THAT THE LOSS IN SAN FRANCISCO WILL REACH FROM $150,000,000 TO $200,000,000. , THESE FIGURES ARE IN THE ROUGH AND NOTHING CAN BE TOLD UNTIL -PARTIAL ACCOUNTING IS TAKEN. ON EVERY SIDE THERE WAS DEATH AND SUFFERING YESTERDAY. HUNDREDS WERE; INJURED, EITHR BURNED, CRUSHED OR STRUCK BY FALLING PIECES FROM THE BUILD INGS, AND ONE OF TEN DIED WHILE ON THE . OP OPERATING TABLE ATJMECHANICSV^ THE NUMBER OF DEAD IS NOT KNOWN BUT IT IS ESTIMATED THAT AT LEAST 500 MET THEIR DEATH IN THE HORROR. AT NINE O'CLOCK, UNDER A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ROCSEVELT, THE CITY WAS PLACED UNDER MARTIAL LAW. HUNDREDS OF TROOPS PATROLLED THE STREETS AND DROVE THE CROWDS BACK, WHILE HUNDREDS MORE WERE SET AT WORK ASSISTING THE FIRE AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS. THE STRICTEST ORDERS WERE ISSUED, AND IN TRUE MILITARY SPIRIT THE SOLDIERS OBEYED. DURING THE AFTERNOON THREE THIEVES MET THEIR DEATH BYRIFLE BULLETS WHILE AT WORK IN THE RUINS. THE CURIOUS WERE DRIVEN BACK AT THE BREASTS OF THE HORSES THAT THE CAVALRYMEN RODE AND ALL THE CROWDS WERE FORCED FROM THE LEVEL DISTRICT TO THE HILLY SECTION BE YOND TO THE NORTH THE WATER SUPPLY WAS ENTIRELY CUT OFF, AND MAY BE IT WAS JUST AS WELL, FOR THfi LINES OF FIRE DEPARTMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY USELESS AT ANY .STAGE. ASSISTANT CHIEF DOUGHERTY SUPERVISED THE WORK OF HIS MEN AND EARLY IN THE MORNING IT WAS SEEN THAT THE ONLY POSSIBLE CHANCE TO SAVE THE CITY LAY IN EFFORT TO CHECK THE FLAMES BY THE USE OF DYNAMITE. DURING THE DAY A BLAST COULD BE HEARD IN ANY SECTION AT INTERVALS OF ONLY A FEW MINUTES. AND BUILD INGS NOT DESTROYED BY FIRE WERE BLOWN TO ATOMS. BUT THROUGH THE GAPS MADE THE FLAMES JUMPED AND ALTHOUGH THE FAILURES OF THE HEROIC EFFORTS OF THE PO LICE FIREMEN AND SOLDIERS WERE AT TIMES SICKENING, THE WORK WAS CONTINUED WITH A DESPERATION THAT WILL LIVE AS ONE OF THE FEATURES OF THE TERRIBLE DISASf: • TER. MEN WORKED LIKE FIENDS TO COMBAT THE LAUGHING; ROARING, ONRUSHING FIRE DEMON. NO HOPE LEFT FOR SAFETY OF ANY BUILDINGS \- ".-.San Francisco seems doomed to entire destruction. With a lapse in the raging of the flames just before dark, the hope was raised that with the use of the tons of dynamite the course of the .fire might be checked and confined to the triangular sections it hkd cut out for its path. But on the Barbary Coast the fire brokef out anew and as night closed in the flames were eating their way into parts untouched In their ravages during the day. ..To -the south and the north they spread; down to the docks and out -into th* resident sertion, in and to the north of Hayes Valley.. By- six o'clock practically all of St. Ignatius' great buildings wen* no more. They had been leveled to the fiery heap that marked what was once the metropolis of the West • /-"The first of the big structures to go to ruin was the Call Building, the famous skyscraper. At eleven o'clock the big 18 story building was a furnace.. Flames leaped from every win dow and shot skyward from the circular windows in the dome. In !~js than two hours nothing remained but the tall skeleton. By five o'clock the Palace Hotel was in ruins. The old hos telry', famous the world over, withstood tbe seige until the last ••and although dynamite was used in frequent blasts to drive CVfiitMnT'rd on Page TVa SAN FRANCISCO, THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 1906. BLOW BUILDINGS UP TO CHECK FLAMES The dynamiting of buildings In the track of the fire, to stay tho progress of the flames, was in charge of John Bermingham, Jr n superintendent of the Cali fornia Powder Works. Several experienced men from the powd er works, assisted by policemen and members of the fire depart ment, did the hazardous work of blowing up the buildings. They were razed in sets of threes, but the open spaces where the shat tered buildings -fell were quick- ! ly turned into holocausts of flame. The work was most ef fective in '\u25a0• the business blocks east of Keamy street WHOLE CITY IS ABLAZE f - . » - . . At 10 o'clock last night th« Occi dental Hotel, was destroyed by the flames which swept unchecked across Montgomery street: and attacked the block bounded by Montgomery, S utter, Bush and Kearny., Ths new Mer chants' Exchange bidding was a mass of flames from basement, to tower. The Union Trust building and Crooker-Wolworth 'Bank were both ablaze and the Chranlole building and other buddings In that blook were threatened by the flames. 8hortly after 10, Volook the firs had eaten its way southward from Ports mouth Square to Kearny and Califor nia .rf-'-ct3. : The entire section front ing. \u25a0 west sice of Kearny. street seer. lorried. \ All tho buildingidjolnlng the Hall of Justice were ablaze and the firemen were striving to save the structure by ! using dynamite. It is almost a cer ' tainty that tvery \u25a0 building contained In the section bounded \u25a0. by \u25a0 Clay, , Kearny, Market and East streets will' bs con sumed. . . -\u25a0<;\u25a0;.-- 1|. . *-,".if -__-, ..* ? The flames had wit«n way westward in the residence 'section as far as Qough street,; There, by dyna miting blocks after blooks, thai firemen suooesded In oheoking % this ' devouring element. \u25a0 ' - -,' ' -:i|' -: \u25a0\u25a0 " ' CHURCH OF SAINT IGNATIUS IS DESTROYED The magnificent church and College of St. Ignatius, on the northwest corner of Van Ness avenue and ' Hayes street repre sents in its destruction a mater ial loss of over $1,000,000. The actual coet oorf r the great building was over $900,000, but during the years which have elapsed since its erection the church has been enriched by paintings and fres-: coes,. which were priceless. Some of them were works of art which can never be replaced, however willing those interested in the church might be to meet any ex pense in the effort MA YOR CONFERS WITH MILITARY AND CITIZENS At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon 50 representative citizens of San Francisco met the Mayor, the Chief of Police and the United States Military authorities- in the police office in the basement of the Hall of Justice. They had been summoned thither by May or Schmitz early in : the forenoon, the fearful possibilities of the situation having forced themselves upon him immediately after the shock of earthquake in the morning, and the news which at once reached him of the completeness of the diaster.' He lost no time in making out a list -of citizens from whom to seek advice and ; assistance, . and in summoning • them, to the conference- . It was called at the Hall of Justice,: as virtually the first news which reached the Mayor regarding the extent "of -the disaster was that of thy ruin of the City HalL He did not realize that even while the; conference was to be going on cornices 'would be crashing [down and windows falling jn fragments in the Hall of Justice also; and that before sunset desperate efforts would be made to blow the structure. up in the vain endeavor by this means to check the advance of the flames in the northern section of the down- - All, or nearly aM \u25a0of the citizens summoned to : the conf erenco Continued on Page Twt