A $10,000 Blaze! The Second Within 100 Days: The Walnut Bureau – December 1, 1887 & November 27, 1887

From the Walnut Bureau, Thursday, December 1, 1887
Walnut Bureau Extra., Sunday Morning, November 27, 1887

Again the Town of Walnut is Visited by the Relentless FIRE FIEND.
Eight Buildings, including the Only Hotel in town, in Ashes.

Last night was the coldest of the season—bitter cold, hence but few people were astir this morning when the alarm of Fire! Fire!! was rapidly sounded from one end of the town to the other, about daylight.

The fire originated from a defective flue in the kitchen of the Central House, evidently upstairs, and was breaking out when discovered.

The building was doomed from the first and every effort was turned towards saving its contents.

From the hotel, the fire communicated to two small buildings, south, and adjoining the bank, a fireproof brick.

North the flames slowly worked their way, burning Ross’ restaurant, John Matson’s building, Franzen’s restaurant and Frohm’s Temperance saloon.

Blohm Bros. meat market was torn down, bodily, and carried into the street, and to this may be attributed the checking of the fire.

A favorable circumstance was the still morning, no wind stirring or the whole east part of town would inevitably have fallen a prey to the hungry element.

The Avoca Fire Department was appealed to but owing to the fact that there was no engine in the yards there, they were unable to respond until too late to be of any service, when they were notified not to come.

The fire burned until 8:15, having been nearly two hours in burning one-half a block.

The row burned was a frame one, and has, for a long time, been considered a veritable fire trap.

The total loss will be approximately, between nine and ten thousand dollars, with about half that amount of insurance.

The losses substantially were as follows:

Bank, damaged, fully insured.

Law office, contents saved, owned by Johannsen, value, $200, insurance, $100.

Shoe shop, contents saved, owned by Johannsen, value, $200, insurance, $100.

Hotel, occupied by J. R. Calkins, contents valued at $1400 and insured for $700, partly saved. Building owned by Johannsen, valued at $4000, insurance $2000.

Restaurant, occupied by Ross, contents mostly saved. Building, owned by Johannsen, value $900, insurance, $500.

Billiard Hall, owned by Jno. Matson, value, $900, no insurance, contents mostly saved.

Restaurant, occupied by P. J. Franzen, contents mostly saved. Owned by Frahm & Hellman, value, $400, insurance $300.

Temperance Saloon, owned by Frohm & Hellman, value $550, insurance $300, contents mostly saved.

Butcher Shop, owned and occupied by Blohm Bros., building, value $1000, insurance $400; stock mostly saved and covered by $300 insurance.


The residents of Walnut took a late breakfast this morning.

John Burke was struck on the shoulder by a burning cornice and will carry a lame arm for a day or so.

Blohm Bros.’ insurance would have expired today at noon.

The total loss foots up to $9,600, with $4,715 insurance.

Walnut is now without a hotel.

Atty. Beck will move in with Packard and Merrill will move his shoe shop into Carstensen’s brick.

Ross will move his restaurant back into Frisbie’s building, up on the corner. He only moved out of it about ten days ago.

This is Walnut’s third fire and we now ought to have a rest.

The bank building was badly scorched on the north side.

Blohm Bros. have opened out their meat market in Lebeck’s building, up the street and are ready for business.

Buildings put up in the new burned district will have to be fire proof, as it is in the fire limits of the town.

[Editor’s Note: The ordinance which was adopted Nov. 1, 1887 applied to the 2 blocks south of Pearl Street in the downtown business district. This was the site of the fire of August 16, 1887. The merchants petitioned to have the main business district added to the fire limits in 1896, as listed elsewhere in this newsletter.]

Blohm Bros. will probably put up a new brick meat market immediately.

The present is the opportunity for the town to get a good brick hotel. Will it be improved.

Other articles on the same page:

The fire of Sunday morning originated in a defective office flue instead of the kitchen flue, as stated elsewhere. To Orson Youman is ascribed the credit of giving the first alarm.

As I was burned out by the recent fire, I will discontinue business and inform the public that the bread formerly sold by me can be had at Ed. Burke’s. P. J. FRANZEN