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THE RATHDRUM TRIBUNE
RATHDRUM, KOOTENAI COUNTY, IDAHO, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5. 1924 $1.50 PER YEAB VOL. XXX. NO. 14 Fire Destroys Part of Rathdrum Business Section Two Solid Bloeks in Ashes and Ruins—Thir ty Stores and Dwellings Burned—Loss Is Over $185,000. Fire last Friday night destroyed all that part of the business section of Rathdrum south of First street, razing two solid blocks of stores *nd residences between that and Second street and from McCartney street west to and beyond Coeur besides other d'Alene houses to the south, causing a total loss estimated at more street, than $185,000. Started In Cowie Hotel Starting in an upper room of the McChcyne (Cowie) hotel about 7:20 o'clock p. m., the flames were swept southwesterly by the breeze and were not checked until every building in the two blocks and those just across street had been laid in ruins, wind carried fire brands over other buildings and destroyed two dwell ings and a barn at the foot of the hill to the south. In all thirty Cœur d'Alene The buildings were burned. In half an hour after the fire was discovered it was beyond control due to both reservoirs being prac tically emptied so that repairs could be made, and in order that lawn sprinkling could be continu ed. Calls were sent to Cœur d' Alene, Spokane and the Northern Pacific and they responded with engines and crews which fought the flames until 5 o'clock Saturday morning, although the fire was controlled about midnight. Their work saved the wooden buildings on the north side of the street. Crowds of citizens worked to save valuables, aud goods from homes and stores, and heaps of mercantile stocks and household goods lined the streets. Under advice of Deputy Sheriff Julius Johnson, Chairman Leo Leuisch, appointed guards to watch the salvaged property but before this could be done much goods were st»len by thieves with automobiles. The light from the fire attracted many people from nearby towns and from the Appleway and prairie. Hurt In Fighting Fire Althongh many risks were taken no serious casualties resulted from the fire. L. A. Hart of Cœur d' Alene, assisting in carrying a hose, sustained a fractured knee-cap in a fall while running from falling brick of the Russell block as it collapsed. Earl Finlay of Rath drum fell from a roof and was rendered unconscious but was re vived and found not seriously hurt. Dynamite was used on residenc es back of the Russell block to lower the flames. Heat from that section scorched the R. E. Young and W. A. Hart residences, and iu the later stages of the confla gration flying brands set fire to the ' oodshed at the Miles F. Egbers home. All residences in the south part cf town were threatened during • he fire, flying brands setting num us grass fires and it required ' Jnstant vigilance to prevent roofs bom being ignited. During the night coffee and food from an abandoned 7:30 church supper at the Community House was distributed to fire fighters under direction of Rev. David L. er Clarke. Meals were later served there to persons rendered home less by the fire. Several homes were also opened to fire sufferers until they could get relocated. Narrative of the Fire The hotel in which the fire originated was near Dr. Frank Wenz's two story brick building and .residence and these were ignited from the woodshed in rear of the hotel and were both burned, destroying Dr. Hollister's dental offices and the law offices of Mi-les F. Egbers on the upper floor, while the main fire, gaining head way and licking greedily at the row of wooden sheds all along the alley in the rear, caught on the roof of the brick annex of the Russell block, occupied by J,. Biemond's meat market and Stew art Skinner's garage. The main three story Russell block, itself,was soon in flames and crumbled to ruin, burning out Reiniger's hardware store and Wendler's confectionery,and apart ments in the upper stories, front wall fell outward, the bricks scattering across the street and against the curb on the north side where men were busy keeping the The damp sacks. Aid From Coeur d'Alene It was at the time the Russell block was burning that the Cœur d'Alene triple combination tooo gallon American LaFrance fire engine with a crew cf eight men under Chief E. D. Brink, got into action, playing two streams of water on the flames. Residences on the south half of the block were burning and intense heat and flying brands carried tbe fire across Mill street to dwellings and sheds in rear of the brick store of Evans Supply company. In quick succession the recently tarred roofs of the Evans store and the Hart block, the oldest brick building in Kootenai county, were blazing fiercely, while the Brad bury frame building, occupied by the post office and Adams confec tionery and the A. D. Robinson frame structures occupied by Farnsworth's feed store and Skinner's storage garage, were re duced to ashes in ?.n incredibly short time, taking with them the telephone exchange. Spokane Sends Help All efforts to save the Evans and Hart bricks were unavailing, and the Meyer store and Masterson pool hall were badly damaged and the upper rooms wiped out. Tar roofs on these buildings held the fire persistently for hours, resisting the endeavors of the Cœur d'Alene fire fighters and those of the Spokane No. 10 fire engine which arrived later with Captain C. A. Cooper and four men and joined the other in pumping powerful streams from flows through the town. However, the walls remained intact and held the heat back from the opposite side of the street. The basement also remained intact. In the meantime the fire reduced to ashes the old Klopf building on Mill creek which (COMXIMUItU UJSi J'AÖJt XWO.) m ■ v. ;- s -m • Old picture of Russell block com pletely destroyed in the fire of August 29. It was built by the late John Russell in 1892 at a cost of $16,000 and was the largest brick building in town. In 1904 Mr. Russell built the one-story annex on the east side and an addition in the rear. It is esti mated this building and additions can not be replaced for several times the value placed upon it. ATH0L Special Correspondence Mrs. Beatrice Snyder of Spokane was visiting Mrs. Rose Hays over the week end. Many citizens of Albul drove to Rathdrum Suuday looking at the burned district. Miss Ethel Brackln left Friday for Eureka, Mont., where she has been employed to teach in the high school. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Barber and son, Kent, auloed in Saturday from Ilamet, Idaho. Mr. Barber has been elected as superintendent of otr school for the coming term. Miss Rose Hensen returned Monday from Porto Rico, where she spent her summer vacation with her brother, Gus Hensen. Mrs. Will Joseph spent the week end at Meadow Creek. Tbe Ladies' aid will meet at the home of Mrs. Albert Holder, Satur day, Sept. 6. Everyone is welcome Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Cheek and son, Flnjd, spent (heWeek end at Westmond on their ranch. School election was held Tuesday at the school house. Trustees elected are Frank Williams and Lister Kendrick. They received every vote. Robert Wili ams has been spending a few days in Bayview at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dill. Mr. and Mrs D. W. Fredenherg visited the fair Mouday, returning Tuesday. Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Gray visited Will Gray in Spokane, Sunday. Mr. Will Gray is in the hospital, suffering with eve trouble caused ly a flying chip. It is feared be will lose bis sight. Contest at School Election. The school election Tuesday after neon resulted in the election of Miles F. Egbers and Dr. F. Wer.z for the regular three year terms and W. II. Edelblute for the one year term to (111 the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mrs. Clara Franklin. The 150 votes polled were east as follows: Three-year term—Tacle B Post 48, Grant Sheffield 55, Miles F Egbers J05, Frank Wenz 89. One year term—W. Maud Swanson 41. Although there was no well defined Issue, a contest developed which brought out the largest vote, cast at a school election in this district for a number of years. The newly elected trustees are all former members of the school hoard and experienced iu school matters. H. Edelblute 110. School trustees elected at Spirit . | Lake are G. W. Kemp, Phil King and | Thomas Falkenhurg. There were two j 1 , tickets, the one supported by the ! shopmen being defeated. Business Men Expect to Rebuild Burned District Some Already Decided.—Others May Follow —Brick Walls Seem to Be Intact.—Feeling of Optimism Prevails. GRATEFUL FOR HELP Rathdrum Hanks Coeur d'A - lene and Spokane. the A vote of thanks from citizens of Rathdrum to the cities of, Coeur d'Alene and äpokaoe. for their prompt and cheerful response to the call for assistance by sending tbeir Are trucks to combat the Are of August 29 30, was extended at a well attended public meeting at Fraternal ball Monday evening. Thanks were also extended to Post Falls for the kind offer of their help. Help to Find Lost Property The meeting was called by the village board and was presided over by Leo Lenlscb, chairman. At the suggestion of Mrs C. F. Borell a bulletin board was ordered set up on j which to list lost or found articles of : clothing cr furniture misplaced) during the Are. M. B. Layton was j appointed to procure a suitable board. - - ! 1 j Ou motion the chairman appointed , Mrs. Bord 1 . Mrs Cassedy and Mrs. ! H. B. Barnes a committee to seek out; All ' the needs of Are sufferers so that aid can be extended to them. persons present were asked to assist the committee in this work. expressing optimism, pointing, A move was made to revive the chamber of commerce, 27 persons present indicating a willingness to bo members. Rathdrum Not Broke M B Layton led in sentiments of out that, while some of the best build inns were lost the people are still here and tnere is no reason why the town should not rebuild and prosper. He said the business geographically belonging to it can hr gained and held R. L 1 oung . , . . . . , , .v, declared the town was not broke, the . . , , . . , 1 , .11 heaviest losers being able to meet all current bills before collecting a cent of insurance. He predicted the town would be 100 per cent bettor within Many others spoke encouragingly | j three years. of the situation. I School Opened Tuesday. public schools I I i 1 The Rathdrum opened Tuesday with all teacher» present and a trend initial enrollment in each room. On the previous day Superintendent Tanner called a teachers' meeting and the work was oulliued. In the high school Mr. Tanner is assisted by Mr. R. M Bayer, Miss Helene M. Bower and Miss Irma 1 Marlin. Teachers in the grade, school are Ragna Brostcn. 8lh grade: Edilha Zielke, 7th; Elizabeth Wilalns 5tb and 6th; Alma Paulsen 3 rd and ! 4 ib; and Virginia Houlahan 1st aid Miss Houlahan has 18 in the a larger number 1 ! 2nd. beginners' class than for several years. Rathdrum Fire History. ' Lasl Friday night's Ore was the greatest Rathdrum ha* had in the 43 years of 1rs historr. ex'-ceding in pro perfy los< the (1 re of 1884 when every tbe town was estimated at twenty families were made destitute. Fifty five buildings, however, were burned in 1884 , a greater number than iu the Another $20,000 tire in business place in d> stoned with a loss $85,000. and over recent Arc. Rathdrum weeurtd la 1899, Although the fire of August 29-30 \ was a staggering blow, it appears i that in most instances, the losers were able to meet it- With courag eous spirit and a feeling of optimism that Rathdrum can be made a better town than ever, the citizens are look 1 I ing forward to the rebuildiug of the j burned district. As soon as the in - surance adjusters are through, work will be started clearing away the debris, Reconstruction will follow, hut probably not immediately to the same extent as before. The lots burned over are the most desirable business locations in town. The W. A. Hart brick, the entire walls of which arc believed to be intact, will undoubtedly be restored. So, too, with the Evans building, The brick walls of the Wenz building are also standing and it is believed those of the lower story can be saved. In the up p e r story the walls ate badly cracked. The stone-walled basements all along the street are available for use in erecting new buildings. Merchants and others out of busi ness on account of the fire include Henry Reiniger, Evans Supply They expect to resume as soon as quarters company' and J. Biemond. can ma( | e ready, Others who salvaged a part of their stocks are occupying tempor arily all the available buildings on the north side of the street. These include Peter Meyer, Ernil Wendler, Of- F. Wenz, D. R. Adams, O. B. Masterson, S. B. McCheyne and C. Casscdy. Dr. Wenz is Mrs. using bis old drug store building, which he vacated 22 years ago and which has since been used as a black smj(Jl shop [. Biemond is about to Ws mcat market in tempor , . arv quarters, and the Evans broth .... ers may resume business in the ' Bradbury building opposite the Iribune office until permanent quarters are again available. Miles F. Egbers and Dr. Hollister arc oc cupylng offices in the upper floor of the bank building. S. L. Farnsworth is resuming business in the O. K. , barn. Carpenters are busy making shelves and counters iu the tempor ary stores and repairing the old buildings occupied. t. In the meantime the Rathdrum Electric company has a large crew at work under H. R. Saunders creeling new poles,transformers, and wire and restoring service on the south side of the N. P. tracks. This part of town has been in darkness since the lire, until Wednesday night. The Interstate Utilities company had telephone service to Coeur d' Alene and Spokane restored the next <j a y a fl er the fire, with a tem porary station in the Electric com pany's ofificc.in charge of Miss Pearl Wood. Miss Myrtle Ernsbcrger and New poles are Miss Hazel Roscoc. being installed in the alley and the company will begin erecting a sub stantial office building as possible on the company's lot just west of the former location. soon as Karl Reiniger, former Rathdrum Weoatcbee by hoy, lost his store in Ur« last Friday.