Mail Tribune 100, July 31, 1920 Continued
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
July 31, 1920 Continued
OREGON BURNING DOWN FASTER THAN IT IS BUILDING UP
Medford has a $100,000 fire Monday. Three hundred people lost household foods stored in a warehouse. The fire spread to other buildings and threatened wholesale destruction, avoided only by herculean efforts of the fire department.
The cause is given as spontaneous combustion, and spontaneous combustion is ordinarily the result of carelessness. Oils, especially animal and vegetable, and even mineral, are easily fired by spontaneous combustion. So are greasy rags and furniture. If oils or greasy rags are left in the open in wooden and other easily fired containers a burning building is the usual consequences. Loss of property and even life are other unavoidable consequences.
They are hand in hand with fires as fires are hand in hand with carelessness.
On the same day the plant of a paving contractor was destroyed near Amity. A considerable loss was entailed, to say nothing of the delay to paving operations. Opening of a highway that would have been ready for travel within a short time will now be indefinitely postponed.
The fire will, no doubt, be found to be attributable to somebody’s negligence. Almost all fires are. Somebody leaves debris, rubbish and rages about. Combustibles are deposited in readily fired containers. Flue holes and other openings are left unprotected. Somebody else drops a match or cigarette in the fire trap and the flames are under way. It is the same story in fire after fire.
Almost $1,000,000 in property has been destroyed in the Oregon country so far in July. Eugene, Salem, Colfax and Bend have had disastrous fires. Marshfield has experienced them; so has Dallas, and now Medford. They have covered a wide belt of territory. And they have been distressingly destructive.
At the present rate we are burning down faster than we can build up.
The Trigonia oil well is now down to a depth of 680 feet, the drill still going thru a lime shale showing much shale oil from the baler. Drilling was hampered Monday and Tuesday by the breaking of the pitman timber which is now replace by a substantial oak that will certainly not give way.
Heinrich Heidenreich, who left last Monday for California to attend summer school at Stanford in order to meet requirements for a teacher’s certificate in California, found that his qualifications entitled him to a certificate without attending the school, was certified by the state superintendent at Sacramento and has returned to spend the remainder of the summer in this valley, after which he expects to accept a position in California. — Ashland Daily Tidings.