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Lethbridge Daily Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 2, 1908, Lethbridge, Alberta E.t LETHBRIDGE, A L T A 908. NO. EXPERIENCES IN THE BIG FIRE Related by Mrs. Andrew Nei- dig-People Anxious About Relatives So quick arid without warning did the fire burst upon many of the peo- ple of Fernie that in their hurry to" escape they lost all fiossessioiis. Tra- vellers lost their chattels and other transients nearly all their belongings, in the wild rush for a ploco of ty a dilemma reigned. Ono com- mercial traveller lost his valise con- taining railway ticket and two hund- red dollars. An Englishman with his family was left destitute, having lost over two hundred dollars ami for a journey across to the Old It is said that numbers of people took refuge in cellars in their oe- LOSS WILL REACH FIVE RAISING FUND TO HELP THE A THRILLING STORY OF FIRE Told by Young Lady Who Was in Fernie on Saturday FATALITIES AT FERNIE MAY NOT REACH ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE AT ONE LUMBER CAMP REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY SWALLOWED IN FLAMES Miss H. Beninger came in from Fernie on the Flyer last night. Miss 1 Benninger lived at the Dallas Hotel Mchel, B. C., Aug. The Alex a yc-ai- ago and until Saturday was Black sawmill and the Hosm ir Lbr. employed at the Fernie House. Seen i Co. mills nre a total loss. All the Impossible To Secure Names of Victims Thrilling Tales of the Fire Told By Eye-Witnesses Every Saw Mill But One From Michel West Was Destroyed Very Few Buildings Are Left in Fernie THREW THE DYNAMITE IN RIVER The Daily Herald Starts Find to Assist the Victims of the Fernie Fire To Avoid Explosion at Mich- el-- Man Stayed in River With Pay on Head refuge in this way and perished. Mrs. Neidig's Experience Some idea of the .rapidity with which the fire fiend ate its way into the heart of the city may be gleaned from the experience of Mrs. A. is'eulig and her two children who were in Fernie at the time visiting Ernest Xeidig, brother of 'Andrew Neidijr. Mrs. and her two craildren went out to visit a friend at a hotel and while there the'lira bell was rung. Hurrying to. the front of thi> hotel she observed that part of the city, on the outskirts, in which her brother-in-law lived, had caught fire. Without her children. Mrs. Neidig proceeded to go to the assistance of her brother-in-law and family 'jut had not proceeded over a block when ehe perceived the futility of such an attempt. With a fear for her children Mrs. Xcidlg immediately turned back to the hotel. .As quick- ly as she proceeded tht lire was even by the Herald1 this morning Miss Ben niger made it plain that she had not been leading simple life during the last two days. She has had an experience that she will not soon for- get. The horrors caused by the Cre fiend paint pictures that remain vivid for a life time. Miss Benniger was very conserva- tive in her statements anu when ask- ed would not venture an answer to anything she did not personally wit- ness. The following is her story in brief. The fire started at the Brewery, west of Fernie, about 2.30 on Sat- urday afternoon. The people of Fer- nie did not suspect danger until the fire was upon them. The fire reach- ed the city about JJ.30.and came so mills arc burned in this district ex_ the Wood McNabb mill west of Fernie, which is in danger. The sit_ xntion at is unchanged. Fire just started in flat near the business block of the new town of Michel. Wind from west may save the town. Situation critical. is entertain r.d for the escape of ML One down from or think. The Fernie house caught fire first and soon the whole town was ablaze. In State of Confusion Confusion reigned. There was no time for systematic action. All. rush- ed for the depot. A yard engine "arid (From the Herald's Special Repre- s.ntative.) Michel. B. C., Aug. of life at Fernie is unknown. But at least 18 are known. -Waterford and two childr.-n found dead. Two women of the Red Light burned. Mrs. Turner, bedridden woman burned aft'.-r be- ing carried out. Six men of Elk River Lumber Co., 4 missing. Many unknown dead .and suddenly that none had time, to others missing. Crook miners quicker. PaiuWmoniiiiit was upper- pox cars were hastily aeeur- most.at the hotel when she arrived. eel and-there was a scramble for a The fire was fast approaching. Luck- ily she found, her little boy and girl after some difficulty, but '.lot too soon for by this time the fiendish Qames were upon them and when Mrs. Nei- dig nnd her two children reached the street the (lames were reaching over the fan lights of the hotel. They ran to the station and were hurried onto box cars and sent to Hosmer where they were harbored with hund- placo on the train. The uproar und chaos can only be imagined. Children became'scparat- organized searching parties and are I scouring the country. Death roll likr-lv'lo increase. there this morningf. it nmst go. The fire originated ip ;t bush lire that has been burning for UK- last month hi the limits th.-. Cedar Valley Lumber Company to the west of the city, How the Started The wind started early in the morn- ing with th force of a cyclone and revived the .fire that supposed to have been quenched. By about 11 in the forenoon it' spread till ih.' goat ranch was reached and from there to the old town. Then the brewery got alight and inside half an hour the entire .'.business section was in flames .owing to1 the high wind scattering the burning shingles in all directions and for long distances. When at its the was tak- ing springs of over a "hundred yards in Ic-ngih and s.-izing in all direc. tions. The bridges are burned out Cranbrook, B. C.. Aug. seen the results of the calamity at Fernie, I must say that it is mofe entirely extensive than any report gave reason to "believe. The darhag> cannot fall short of five million dol- lars, the greater losses falling'upon the. G. P. R., which lost the coal ed from their parents, husbands from I tipple, coal bunkers, freight wives, brothers from sisters. was a cry 'raised to give women and children first place in the cars. The men acted the part of true Cana- dians. :Lcst ths Smoke During the loading of the cars no- reds of otliers over night and away thing could be seen for the dense froiu the raging flames. Mrs. Xcidig has many thrilling in- cidents to relate. OniUlrcn astray were be.ing picked ofl the streets in hirgi; numbers. One man was veeu with a two weeks' old baby in his i the Crow's Xcst line. About about seven thousand souls, ten smoke. People were confused and lost in the smoke. The train pulled out-for' Hosmer amidst the cries of women and children with about G50 si led, and over one dred cars. The Trites Wood LV. lost its magnificent store aiu st ck and the lumber companies lost mills, limits and stock being vripe.i ont. Fully twenty-five million feet of man. ufatured lumb r is gone. The extent of the disaster can measured better by the recital of tho few buildings left standing than by a detailed Ijst of the widespread de- struction. There remain out of what thirty houses in the somh end and the coal company's office in the cen- tre of the town. The citizens are scattered far and wid.i hundreds flee- ing to Cranbrook, and many to Hos- mer and it will be some time before the scattered, members ui Iamui .-a can locate each other. The fire started from bush fires in West Fernie and spread so rapidly to the town that there-was no time tojsave anything and everyone sought safety in flight. The brewery was the first place "to fall a victim to the flames and the hurricane that was blowing carried the sparke to the old town and in a few minutes nothing was left of that sec Lion. In ttu meantime the Cedar Valley and Elk River Lumber mills and the whole of West Fernie ex- .7. M. Agnew of Nelson, B. C. came through on No. regular east- bound last night. This morning he told the Herald about conditions along the burned area when pass- ed through. His train stayed nt vfhat was Fernie for half an hour. Tnere were b'lweeu one hundred and two'hundr. d people in Fernie at nine o'clock last night.. The town was a. smouldering mass of ruins. The three large lumber mills around the town were burned. The cars of coal along the Great Northern were burning. He reached Hosmer at 10 o'clock, few buildings were burned. A ton of dynamite had exploded leaving not a half dozen whole windows in the town. Four tons of dynamite were dumped into the river atx-JSIL cept the brick works wer> a seething chel. At elevi-n o'clock the mountain mass of flames, and residents were fleeing for their lives. It is im- possible to say at present time whether any lives were lost in that between Fernie and Mic-h'-l and traf- fic will be hung up for a time. Another Story, of Disaster Cranbrook, B. C., "Auii. lies in ruins, five thousand people arj homeless and aii that remains of a prosperous and progressive city are sides were all aflame. The citizens then hoped to save their town if the wind did not rise. The mill at Spar- wood was wiped out. section as -the bridges are consumed One of the Elk River Lumber C-o.'e "employers at Fernie stayed in the The disaster at Fernie is one of the worst, if not the worst in the history of Western Canada. Mauy lives havi been lost in addition to the wiping clean off the earth of prac- tically every home and business house in Fernie. People are left without a cent to their names and will have to be fed and clothed for some days by the generous citizens of Western Canada. This is not the time for extended appeals. In this part of the West we are a peopb of few words but kind hearts. Let us get together and, out of our savngs, large or small, con- tribute what we can afford to the homeless and suffering people in our aeighboring city. It is true that the city is contributing and every- body will endorse Mayor Henderson's judgment in making that gift. But .ve all want to r-mder assistance, at least the Herald sizes the people of this city up as feeling that way. In jrder to give evory citizen an oppor- tunity to assist in alleviating the suf- ferings of the men, women and child- ren left homeless and penniless by Saturday's calamity, contributions will be received by the Herald and placed to the credit of a spxsial ac- at the Canadian Bank of Com- and 'there is no communication. Tht fin; fiend jumped the river near the bridges and in a fe.w seconds the town was ablaze. Dozens of houses and stores were burning at the same time and street after street was licked REMOVED FROM THE HOSPITAL on' board. This train passed over was Fernie, that housed a population arms a mother had lost her child and this man good shepherd. proved himself the An Amusing Incident A rather comical incident' occurred when the lire broke out. It is am- using because of its absurdity. Three Italians were seen, hurrying down a street, one carrying a feather bed hali-ahlaze. another carrying a rock- ing chair, and the third leading a goat. The Italian with the gout could not bo parted from his companion and retained its company. They both put up at the coke ovens. Staid with Cows A story is told of a sixteen year girl's fidelity. She was herding cow.s outside the city of Fernie and refused to leave the dumb beasts which had grown to know her, and she had a fond affection for them. To leave them to their fato was too much, she preferred to try and save tlieir lives if possible or perish in the attempt. This true heart re- mained with her loved herd until she was forcibly compelled to leave them through the efforts of friends. Anxious About Friends people were taken over the Great Northern to Hosmer. The sick in the hospital at Fernie were conveyed- to the Canadian Western Warehouse and were saved. Large numbers could be seen running to the river for safe- ty. The fire seemed to approach the town from all sides. A terrific wind was blowing. Tho train reached at six o'clock. It returned toward Fernie and four miles out was again filled by the crowd who had left the burn- or tw-Ive small cottages and five or six residences all situated near the park. For the rest, not a store, bank, hotel or business concern of any sort f r d scription is left standing ex_ ceyt the offices of the. Coal Company. Great Northern depot and water tank and the big concnt? warehous. of the Trites Wood' company ytili stand. Need for Help Fernie is wiped off ths map and is not as it remains of sufficient im_ Sad Spectacle at the Femie Fire Every Patient Saved river for on hour and a half with a pail over his head. Large numbers found shelter in the One h-jrse was seen grazing in'an untouched spot. His ma no and tail were burned uj> by the On Bak.r avenue off. 5iml the park a determined, eSort} was imdc- to stay the conflagration and to the heroic work of the residents and th> firemen the few .remaining houses owe their preservation. About three hundred men, women and children fled to the Coal Company's offices. The fact of this building being iso- lated and surrounded by spacious lawns, suggesting to the panic strick- en people as the only place in town that Jjfferxl the- slightest hope of refuge. Willing volunteers ascended to the roof and fought the fire like was his eyes burned in the fire. Mr. Agfiew was unable to tell of conditions east of Michel as 'he wtut to bed." Very few people of the doomed or endangered towns boarded the train. Regina Assists Rs-gina, Sask., August for assistance for Fernie sufferers reached the mayor at 11 a.m. this morning and at 4 p.m. this afternoon the city clerk wired the mayor of that city, authority to draw on Re- merce. The city is donating That Amount will not cover tba expense the car of provisions forwarded to Fernie yesterday, and the Herald after a conversation with Mayor Hen- derson, has decided to pay out of its fund, the balance due on this car. Contributions above that amount will be forwarded direct to the treasurer of the Reli f Fund at Fernie. Right here the Herald to credit to the milling companies for iheir generosity. Ellison Milling Co. contributed i.OOO pounds of flour and the Taylor Milling Co. pounds. The contributions in cash so far received by the Herald are as fol- lows 'S for hours amid the scorching; gjna cjty for gve hundred dollars used to convey the Fernie people west. ing town. The train wus unable to p0rtancc to justify the maintenance return for another load but later' a fiag Cation. If is a disaster un- parallelled in the interior of British Columbia and one that calls for prompt action on the part of the pub- lic. Some three, thousand people, mostly women and children, hav> to be housed and cared for until thev Frantic at Hosmer At Hosmer the people were frantic. Reports were current that the cul- verts cast of the town were burned. About 700 people passed the night in; shall have time to look about them, the new coke ovens. About c These are being sp.rl by thousands were on the river bank. One man was killed by a quantity of dyna- mite' exploding. Of the sixty men n.t the lumber camps near ITosmer- to Cranbrook where all private hous- es are being used as temporary quar- ters for th' homeless and in many cases, naked refugees. The rHioJ only four came out. The rest are committee organized by Mayor _Fjrik thought to have perished. Saturday has got away two trains fillrd with j night was a regular purgatory for j provisions of every kind, blankets, i the people nt. TTosmcr. The (Ivor flour and nil thf st.ipl requirements. reached Tlosmcr nt ten o'clock. The Enquiries have been mado nt the Conduct or nskert nil who wanted to Herald regarding the list of names of tf those who were victims of the narl catnstrophe. .Miss Kathleen Farrcll is anxious for two school friends who lived in Fernie. a nnd dmisrh aboard. A work found the road intact. When thr (Iyer left Hos- iner there was another rush for the roko ovens. At Michel there was groat anxiety and the people, wre en- to savo the town. Wenninger wa.s the only pcr- to the city lost night. There are manv mouths to fred ann evry one here is taking a practical hand at trying to alleviate the w''rp firings, of those who ha in thiir'diro. nee ssitv. John Arnold, of the Leihbridge power hous who, by Win. Dav.s. rf Liverpool, -Eng., was r, turning from a !rip up the Koote. n.iy Lakes, arrived at Fernie at 4 p.m. Saturday, bat "f course, could come no farther, aii'l in the evening their train backed Cranbrook, ar- riving there at 4 a.m. yesterday. During Mr. Arnold's stay in. Fernie he witness .'d many scenes too horri- ble; to depict, li air. breadth escapes taking place all round him, of falling buildings find flying :embers, while baro_fooU'd child r n endeavoring to pick way through the burning debris, made, the blood fairly curdle in his veins. Heart-rending soeivs wjre also en- acted on board the specials returning to Cranbrook, children crying for their parent? who not-on board and par -nts running frantically to and fro for children who had become separated. In ninny cases the worst was feared, a.s no livings of separated ones could he had. A Sad was the nmov.il "f :iie patients from the hosptal at Ferr.ii1 of n number who were so injured at the cave-in at the min on ihe. day pre_ accompanied and the pa- aiul expressed the most sincere sym- pathy and hope that the suffering would be somewhat alleviated by the sum tfhich was most cheerfully giv_ heat and suffocating .smoke. The wa- ter pressure remained .good and sev- eral lines of hosj poured tons of wa- ter on the structure. The large new court house, and the new postofiico and customs buildings w.-re directly opposite and it was while' th.-se w.re burning the greatest danger ex_ istod. Again and again swirling t. c i i C W Rowlev. manager of the masses of sparks found entrance to! Ul en. BANKERS-SEE CROPS attic and a bucket brigade did yoeman work in quenching the fire. Storo after store and hotel aft.r ho- tel caught despite the efforts of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Cal- gary; J. r. Bell of the western head- quarters of the same bank at Winni- peir. and L. P. Strong, of the Paci- fire fighters and th y fell one by one, t fie Elevator Co.. Calgary, spent yes- until not a building of any descrip- tion or kind remains standing north of Walmesley St.. save the residences of W. R. Ro.ss, M. P. P., D. V. Motfc, terday in the city and accompanied by Manager N'ourse paid a visit to the Conlflale district and were great- iy impressed with the fine condition Catholic priest, the Coal Com_ Mayor Henderson Hub Cafe- Proprietors J. H. Williams, ch.-f M. Whitehovne B. Godwin B. Morin W. RomaiiH of the crops there. Strong, who is an cxPcrt- says hc dkl not notice panv office the residence of IE. Tel. fer and the Western Canada whole. in lhc fa" or spring stuff' company. Th scone at night was Thc Part? sturtcd out this the lumber piles in morning on a trip by automobile to iwe .inspiring, West Fernie blazing .fiercely, the mountains on side a mass of flames and the town itself lighted up by the smouldering ruins. Hundreds sleeping in the open without blan- kets or covering cf any sort. Relic-f Cardston. EMPLOYEES WON'T ACCEPT Ottawa, Aug. labor depart- ment has received a letter from J. T. voU3> 1 with no serious n---. come ;ous hrook- When traffic P. R. latr S.xty Lost in One Camp oth r on t he lay Mr. Arnold rs proceeded on j j i Miirphv. counsel for the Union Oi comrnutf ees have oeen organized and J ii T C. P. R. machinists, announcing that food is binne supplied to all. Special the men are not prepared to accept constables have sworn in and the town. S15 5 10 1 CONCEDE 18 SEATS ter of W. .1. TJftynton. a wealthy lumber dealer of Fernie. Ireno TTanrahan. twelve years of age. Mrs. T. W. Hnnra-1 son to ban. luul just a week in'Fornic i Rix others went further east. Miss on Saturday and was visiting staying with Mrs. unoio. IT. J. Cunningham. Nothing at tho Dallas. about the girl and her uncle and fa-J ________ -_ inily's safety has been ascertained. Mr. and Mrs. TTanrahan are in a ncr- GOING HOME Aup. Roberts leave Montreal ycster- In the face of such a crushing ca_ I the train lamity feels more inclined for [through Fern i.- a nccion than for words. But it must s town present: d a 13 o'clock. The .vources the report comes out that at' A million feet of timber were dcs- spectacle. prac-Uhe Liberal executive meeting Friday troyed nt Garden Hill. Ont. bo r. corded that according to reports i ticnlly nothing ihe charred re. might the workers conceded eighteen; The harvesters" excursion rate from aisty.on i men and two women have I mains U-n wlni once a thriv. j scats in the. been horned to death at the number Sin? and huetliri: n ining town. Reports also vous state over Ihoir dauphter's wcl-i Montreal, fare and tho of thrir other rela- was to tions. Mr. Hanrahau will go west! day for Ottawa, but he is not very j tonight, in search of his little strong yet. Tie will not make his Exaggerated Statements. western tour but will f for Eng- 4 camp of the Elk River Lumb r Co. Four were found burned to a crjy.p on lh C. P. R. tracks ticnr H s- mer. The number of deaths sur. mised will run to about a hundred, Baggageman Macrfonald, who came land next Friday on tho advice of his English physicians and at the urg- (Continued on Back Page.) t.nt reauest of TCo'wrts. towns. Movi When pftss but this may be. the. .suggestion of the j terror. Hosrner and Michel Hosmer had the new C. P. R. tip- ple destroyed anri part of the town swept out. The business portion is reported to have escaped. No hope While en route ea.-t from Cranbrook two more sp- -V.TO passwl. hav. ing on board tin- rc-mnants of the people wh.-t hail t b.vn previously removrd. their being dis. among various Pas? 2oO. nc liirough Michel Gifts of Clothing Shortly after hall past six o'clock on Sunday evening news of the c-i_ j tastropho was officially convoyed to I St. Augustin's rectory. Lethbridgc-, and in less than an hour a number of parcels of clothing of all kinds was being conveyed by special train to the sufferers at Fernie. On learn- ing of (he disaster the Rev. Dr. 1 CoarJ and Mrs. Coard at no" mide a canvas for clothing by pnoue snd personal solicitation, and the first to n-spond was the Lithbridge .bait. j Women's Relief Society. At the Tho 21-hour general strike with j CVoning service at St Augustin's at wnicjt rnrjs ,s tlircatoned because the Rev. Dr. Coard madi an provincial legislature, any point in Ontnrio to Winnipeg is indicate that H. W. will carry Rcgina with consid- Thpxi mincrs from Cape Broton, ornhlc majority. Folcy. Macdonalfl and Gillion were suffocated by gas in a mine near Co- EASTERN LACROSSE Nationals, r. I rocks 8. Nationals 11, Sham- lho of workmen by soldiers j appoal to the congregation for cloth- ArnoM states the women and children were all being there, as the. plaer was then con. I during the recent disorders at Vign- ng so spontaneous and liberal sidered At Ottawa. Capitals Montreal is the solo topic of conversa- tion and anxiety in Paris tonight. At Haitian's Point. Flovri Marsh, of Kennedy, Sask., cv.rr.sehs 10, Westminster 4. was drowned at Fish Lake. was the response that when the Spokane Flyer m-nt out the mail van (Continued on Back ;