Mail Tribune 100

July 30, 1917


Had not the fire hydrant on Woodstock street been set low in a ditch and allowed to be grown over with weeds, at least one of the two houses which were destroyed by fire late Saturday afternoon on that street might have been saved.

The fire started in the house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Grant Richardson at 415 Woodstock street, and owned by Dr. E. R. Seeley, when a gasoline stove on which Mrs. Richardson was preparing supper, exploded, during her absence at a neighbor's. The fire had a good start before the flames were discovered and had spread to the home of L. O. Ossman adjoining, which is owned by S. C. Godlove.

The fire department drove right by the hydrant, and the firemen were unable to see it. The apparatus continued on to Second street, the firemen still looking for the hydrant. Then they drove back to the location of the hidden hydrant, about 300 feet from the burning houses, and after beating about in the clover finally uncovered it. About five minutes were thus lost before water began playing on the flames, and it is thought that had work been begun sooner the Ossman house might have been saved.

The Richardson house was completely burned, and the Ossman house partially burned and completely ruined. Some furniture was saved from both dwellings. The total loss caused by the fire is estimated at close to $5,000. Mrs. Richardson collapsed when on coming out from a neighbor's home, she saw her own home going up in flames, and had to be given medical attention.


The high winds of Saturday caused the big forest fire in the national reserve in the Prospect region, which had been brought practically under control, to again get away from Forest Supervisor Erickson and his large force of fire fighters. It also enlivened several smaller fires in that territory.

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