May 11, 1914

May 11, 1914

Fire on South Fir street that started at 1:30 this afternoon destroyed property including the old Day Planing Mill, Wiser's paint shop and three automobiles, estimated at $7,500, partially covered by insurance. The origin of the fire is unknown, but the most plausible theory is spontaneous combustion from paint and gasoline. Smoke pouring through the roof of the blacksmith on South Fir Street, a half block from the scene of the blaze, brought out the fire department a quarter of an hour before the fire was discovered.

The property loss embraces the following: Building occupied by the Day Planing Mill and Wiser auto paint shop, automobiles owned by T.E. Daniels, Homer Rothermel and Fred Lewis of Wellen. The Daniels' auto was insured for $1,000. Tools and paints and equipment of the planing mill were destroyed. Outbuildings and the roof of the residence at Grape and Eighth streets were burned. The house was occupied by W.F. Searles, and the household effects were moved out. The family were at the circus. The roof of the Woods Lumber company caught fire. A heavy cable of the telephone company line was burned down. One hundred feet of hose burned. A barn belonging to F. Ossenbrugge, two dozen stoves and nursery stock were destroyed.

First to See Blaze

Mrs. Jacobsen, wife of the manager of the Woods Lumber Company, was the first to see the blaze. Then it was bursting from the roof of the paint shop. In a few seconds, the entire building was a mass of flames shooting skyward in spectacular clouds of black smoke and burning embers. For 10 minutes, the fire burned with intensity, and then died down. The heat was intense and handicapped the firemen in their work.

Al Smith, a circus visitor of Ashland, narrowly escaped death while standing in front of this building when the heavy cable of the phone line fell, grazing his back. Two other men standing nearby leaped to safety.