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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 5, 1908, Lethbridge, Alberta THC LITHMlOOt WCEKLY HERALD FERNIE WIPED FROM THE EARTH FIRST NEWS OF THE Michel, B. C., August worst forest fire in the history of this town is raging on the hills south and north of it, fanned by a terrific wind. The fire was carried for miles at a time. No damage has yet been done to buildings. This fact is due entirely to the northwest wind. People are to Michel prairie or any place that might possibly afford a place of safety. The we rst danger now is the fire raging near 'Spar- wood and following the mountains along the C. P. R. No communication from Hosmer or Fernie. At Hosmer the G. N. Ity. depot was burned this after- noon and the town is reported doomed. 111" Ox.A.iflo i'...---- il- 171U 1 .1 wii.-.n mjin me: rjiiv .iuver aiuug me 0. P. R. nothing can save this town. Pete Campbell just here from Sparwood with three men badly burned trying to f.b.A Sp-irwood Lumber Company's mills half way between here and Fernie. The injured men were at once taken to the hospital. Two are in a precarious condition. Mr. Forester, manager of the mill with his wife an about thirty men were last seen trying to save the mill These men state that the whole country is a seething hel of fire everywhere which spreads so rapidly as to make i impossible to escape. j despatch from Michel indicates that town is completely surrounded by flames but that the town has not yet suffer- ed any damage. .....Appeal for Aid At 11 o'clock this morning Mayor Henderson receiv- ed the following message from the Mayor of Fernie: FKRNIE, B.C. MAYOR OF LETHBRIDGE: OUR CITST ENTIRELY BURNED OUT SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE HOMELESS. WE APPEAL TO YOU FOB" RELIEF. W. W. TUTTLE, MAYOR. Mayor's Prompt Reply The following reply was LETHBRIDGE, AUG. 2 AV. TUTTLE. FERNIE, B. C. LOVE, SORROW. SYMPATHY FROM CITY OF LETHBRIDGE. DRAAV ON US-ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. NOW. LOADING CAR NECESSABY SUPPLIES FROM JOB- .BING CO. HENDERSON, MAYOR. Four Men Dead The body of Pete Miller, generally known as Scottj Miller found lying on the C. P. R. tracks. He evi dently received wounds trying to flee from the liolocaus covering Imndreds of sqiiare miles. The bodies of four men were brought in by the Greu Northern Yard Engine These men lost their lives trying to save the large Great Northern. bridge over the river fifteen miles from here, which is totally destroyed Hosmer and Fernie are reported to have burned to the ground entirely. From Michel west to Fernie everything is destroyed. It is feared, that the loss of life will be the greatest since the San Francisco disaster. The situation, here is unchanged. The hills surrounding the town are a seething fur- nace. A C. P. R. engine is here ready to take the people to Crow's Nest if it comes to the worst. The situation is almost bevond description, only an eye witness can picture the horrors of a town of over three thousand soxils hemmed in on nil sides by walls of -fire. It will take days to fully ascertain the extent of the loss of lives and property. Fernie Wiped Out AY. Carsweli, assistant superintendent of. the Great Northern just arrived here from Fernie after an exciting trip, several miles of the distance being made on through the burning district. The rest of the way was made on- a handcar. Mr. Carswell left Fernie at 7.30 last night. The en- tire town has been burned to the including the en- tire .business section, excepting the fireproof warehouse of the Western Canada Wholesale aud the coal company's j squarfe. i The Great Northern-depot and all the company' buildings were lost. Eighteen hundred people were taken out on G. N tars to a large clear place three miles from Fernie. No details are obtainable as to fatalities, it being im- possible to get to the business section. Hosmer Still Intact Hosmer was still intact when he passed but the fire has crossed the river and there was no hope of saving the town. Two Elk River .bridges totally destroyed. Jutes Gabrian, timber boss at Campbell's Siding three miles from Sparwood reports that.Mr. and Mrs. Foreste and twenty men arrived' at his place at midnight, having escaped from the fire by escaping to the burned ground" Thre.e men were killed and many more not -accounted Many of the destitute people of Fernie will be brought here to be cared for unless this u wu will also meet the fate of Fernie. Special efforts are being ma-Jo by the Trites Wood Co. to hurry provisions here as possible Stren- uous efforts will be required to car- for toe homeless :tnd destitute. THE NEWS IN LETH3RIDCE Nothing else was talked of on the streets yesterday but the terrible catastrophe at Fernie. Very little infor- mation was obtainable but the fact that the city of Fernie and possibly the town of Hosmer hod been completely wiped off the 'map was known and naturally such a'deves- tating disaster occupied the mind of every person. Practically the only information that reached the city during the clay was received by May'or Henderson in a brief appeal for aid from Mayor .Tuttle, of Fernie and a special despatch to the'Daily Herald from its wideawake correspondent at Michel. Alarming reports of the loss of life were circulated but they .could not be confirmed. It was rumored that 600 persons had lost their lives. Another report said that Cranbrook, west of Fernie, had also been a victim of the fire but up till the time of going to press the Herald had no confirmation in any way of that story. Bush Fires to Blame Bush fires are responsible for the Fernie and Hosmer holocausts. Fires havS been raging in the mountains about Fernie most of the summer and Saturday's wind- storm in all likelihood carried the flames from the moun- tains to -the towns in the valley. Once the frame buildings in Fernie and Hosmer were ignited all the fire brigades along the line could not have prevented the progress of the flames as the wind must have been blowing a hum-! cane through the mountain passes. As all travellers know the towns in the Crow's Nest Pass are situated in a nar- row valley, surrounded by forest covered mountains. Our I Lethbridge Assists The Mayor with business like promptness and energy proceeded at once to collect a carload of provisions. He wag ably assisted by 'Messrs. Colpman, Barford, Rylands, Taylor and other business men and. by four o'clock a car was loaded with all kinds of piovisions and at 7.30 o'clock a special train started for the scene of the awful disaster On board were J. H. Fleetwood in charge of the city's supplies, Dr. Tuller, with bandages and other ne- cessary equipment for looking after the injured, 0. D Austio, representing the Herald and .J. Manwaring, the Andrew Neidig was also on board. His wife and children were visiting in Fernie' and naturally he was greatly concerned about them -The Woman's Relief So- ciety gathered a lot of clothing together and forwarded it on the special train, too. Mayor Henderson deserves "the highest praise for his judgment in giving prompt and liberal aid to the stricken city. Every citizen will join the Herald in endorsing his destruction if the wind changed. Train No. 22 due here- last night was held at Fernie and used to carry the homeless people of that city west to ('ranbrook. Trains Nos. 7 and 21 were held at Frank last night. Nelson Gives Aid Nelson, B. .C., (Supplementary Despatch sent out at midnight, Saturday dreadful disaster in the Crow's Nest Pass has proved to be even worse than at iuir reported. Not merely has the fire fiend obliterated JPernie but Coal Creek as well, it is feared, and other Pass towns have gone out of existence, swept clean by the devouring element. Over six thousand people are homeless and the fatalities are arrow ino- limn-lv. O v In one case alone five families at, Ferine hemmed in and every soul perished. Bush fires are responsible for Hie whole horrible af-i iV-ir Mayor Tuttle of Fernie, at 3 o'clock this morning sent Mayor Taylor, of Nelson the following appeal: "Our city entirely burned out. Six thousand are homeless. I appeal to you for AV. Tuttle, Mayor.'' The following reply "was sent: "W. AV. Tuttle, ma- yor, supplies leaving this morning. Nel- son .sincerely sympathizes and will do ail possible to as- sist. Am coming with C. MeMorris, acting mavor." iction. After the special train left Mayor Henderson sent the following message to Mayor Tuttle of Fernie: Time 19k LETHBRIDGE, ATJG 2. MAYOR TUTTLE, FERNIE, B. C. CAR SUPPLIES FORAVARDED TO YOU N WE RENDER ANY FURTHER ASSIST- ANCE. CAN ACCOMMODATE NUMBER OF PEO- LE HERE IF NECESSARY. ANSWER. AV. HENDERSON, MAYOR: Two Hundred Lives Lost At eight thirty o'clock last night the Herald had a alk with Coleman on the telephone. At thattowm various eports were in circulation, one being- that the number of ives lost was two hundred Two thousand of the inhab- ts of Fernie had been moved to Cranbrook. Coleman Iso said that Hosmer and Michel, while totally surround d by bush were still standing, though in danger of The Daily News woke up Nelson shortly before mid- night and a citizens' emergency meeting was held in the newspaper office lasting all niglit. Nelson people are re- sponding bravely and at 4 a.m. the C. P. R. steamship started off with a carload o_f provisions, tents and blank- ets. Acting mayor, Capt. D. jC. Mc-Morris, personally ac- companied the first relief instalment and he will represent Nelson on the ground until the first shock is over. At 2.30 this afternoon the emergency committee and large number of citizens gathered at the Daily News office. A subscription list of some was instantly got up and provision made to send off associated carload of supplies. The C. P. R. also placed a steamer at the com- mittees disposal and this was loaded with the supplies Still more urgent requests for help having come from Cran- brook whence all the refugees were taken last night, it was to take in here as many as- would come on. Nelson people without limit unreservedly throwing open their houses and with several buildings being got up, between 600 and TOO refuges are being brought in by the C. P. R. and will reach Koote'nay landing at 10.30 and this city jibout 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. A special citizens' committee has gone down to Kootenay Landing with the Second lot of supplies and to meet and look after the first batch of refugees and bring them here aild meantime pre- parations are going on to house and feed and clothe the unfortunates on their arrival. Daily News has two representatives on the ground and tie despatches when received will be sent out by the A. P. The C. P. It. have rushed a temporary wire through the burned district and westbound passen- gers are due here at six a.m. -tomorrow. The telegraphic communication has been maintained at Cranbrook but is Victoria, B. U, Aug. MeBride today're- ceived u despatch from the government agent at Fernie stating that five thousand people are homeless nearby as a result of the conflagration yesterday. Premier Mc- Bride has telegraphed to the government agent at Cran- brook and other points instructing them to do all in their power to relieve suffering. Flyer Reaches Lethbridge The Spokane flyer, from the west due here at 5 o'clock yesterday morning reached-here at nine last night. The train came through Fernie, the C. P. R. line being intact. The Great Northern line from Fernie, to Michel is impassi- ble as all the bridges have bean wiped out. Corpses Along Track Herald reporters interviewed the train officials and learned .some additional facts. The fire it appears started four iniles west, of Fernie'and inside of an hour Fernie was ablaze. It is estimated that the loss of life in the woods and Fernie will reach two hundred. A number of corpses are to be seen along the track between Fprnie and Eosmer. Fernie'is totally destroyed and it is a mystery how most of the people escaped. People escaped with their clothes only and little barefooted children were run- ning about trying to get out of reach of the flying embers. Aid from Outside Points The C. P. R. is .doing all in its power to rescue those in danger. Macleod and Calgary have sent cars of provisions. A crowd of people- forced a yard conductor to take ten box curs filled with people to Hosmer. Cranbrook sent ten ears of provisions. The C. P. R. reports that Michel is asking- for relief. The town is in danger of destruction. Heartrending Scenes Mr. Norton, of Spokane, who came through Eernie to- day, told the Herald that the scenes in that city were most heart-rending. He says that twenty or thirty buildings are all that are left in the entire city. Everything was ablaze, in half an hour and practically all the city was wiped out-in two hours. Twenty or thirty Hindoos working in a saw mill were seen lying-Mead near the ruins of the mill. Horses, with hair all burned off, were lying dead in .water. Many families are separated. -People in Coke Ovens The new coke ovens at Hosmer are being filled with people .from that town and Fernie. The fire is raging as far as the eye can reach. In Fernie groups of people are to be seen huddled to- gether. Some have their clothing burned, hair aifd eye- lashes scorched. A new track had to be laid at Fernie to get the .Flyer "through. InO box cars were burned at Fernie. yet. into Fernie and east. The fire devoured d'V tric-t runs from and including Fernie, east through the pass and an earnest appeal for help has been sent out by the mayor of' Fernie and it is only right that all Canada should know as help is badly needed at once: The Enterprising Weekly Watch the Daily Herald For the Latest And Up-to-date J Agricultural Topics Every Farmer One in His Home i L, Cranbrook in Danger Cnmbrook was threatened with destruction for two days.. All that saved that town was the fact that the wind changed. Mr. Norton says that he saw one man with S3 in his kind, all he had left in the world, who was worth a few hours before. The people at Michel are frantic and are fighting hard to save that town. Terrible Wind The fire travelled at the rate of twelve miles an hour. A terrific wind was blowing. One block was turned broad- side by the wind. The first building destroyed at Fernie was the brewery. As Bad as Frisco Mr, W. A. Linlda'ter, college graduate of Pullman, vV a fill in n-f i i Linuugu on me jcryer, states that the scene throughout the burned district 'in the Pass is most appalling, and only may be compared with the great San Francisco disaster of a few years ago. Mr. Linklater says the sight is a most one. Children were crying for their parents who were lost from them and parents were searching madly for their little ones. In 'the wild rush for the trains four children were hustled together and put on and twenty-four hours later had not seen their parents. __________ Dead on the Track Two men dead Tit OlseifTsaid Mr. Link- later. They were lying on the track and apparently had been surrounded by the fire and then suffocated. Twenty- four men and two women, is it stated, were in a lumber camp outside of Fernie and have not been heard from and the gravest fears are felt for their safety. At least two_ hundred lumber men have met death throughout the district, it is thought. It is estimated that ten and people, belonging to Ferine, have lost their lives, mostly children, who have succumbed to the effects of the terrible fire. The country is devestated wherever the fire visited. One thousand people of Fernie spent the night on a switch back. In Fernie there is nothing left but a cluster of houses, the lumber company's office and a general store. The houses which escaped, be- longed to the Lumber Co., and were saved because of the city park which was between them and the fire. A Hurricane Blowing A hurricane was blowing and II looked as if nothinc could save the towns in the track of the .fire. The coke ovens which have lately been built at Hosmer and which have not yet been used, were utilized for the protection of hundreds of the destitute. Mr. Linklater further stated that nothing could save Hosmer and Michel according to present indications. Of the railways the Great Northern is the greatest loser, hav- ing lost numerous large bridges and much rolling stock. All the railway running through that part of the country lost heavily in cars and utilities of the road. The C. P. R'. will have little difficulty in repairing their damages and will not likely be inconvenienced to any great extent in re- gard to their service. The C. P. R. Calgary sleeper was burned. ;