The Evening Tribune July, 1891
About 6:30 o’clock last night Capt. Harry Smith, watchman on the south channel bridge, discovered a fire breaking out in the upper freight house of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee R. R., and at once gave the alarm, but as the building was dry as a tinder box the fire had got under great headway before the arrival of the fire department, who when they did arrive, put all available means and material at work to keep it from spreading to the other large and extensive warehouse of this company. Seventeen freight cars on the tracks adjoining this warehouse burned, and a number of cars were damaged. Besides the warehouse and the docks which were destroyed, there was about two-hundred thousand feet of hardwood lumber (red oak) shipped by Messrs. Alger, Smith & Co. to L. A. Hatch of Grand Rapids, which was in the warehouse and destroyed. The lumber was brought here on a steam-barge from Black River, Mich., and was being shipped by rail to Grand Rapids. The total loss as near as can be estimated is about $25,000. The fire department was engaged until a late hour and did hard and good work.
The hard working firemen were still busy throwing water on the ruins of last night’s fire at noon today.
Mr. Hatch, who owned the lumber that was burned in the D., G. H. & M. freight house, was in the city last night and reports his loss at about $6,500 with no insurance.
Charles Finley, one of the fire department, when he reads of the fire last night will almost wish he had not gone to Pennsylvania on his vacation trip. He likes to fight fires.
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