Susanville Fire Darkens Town; Loss Reaches $100,000
June 13, 1930
A survey of the district which was the scene of one of the most disastrous fires known here for many years, indicated today that the loss would reach at least $100,000 and part of this is covered by insurance.
The fire plunged Susanville into darkness last night and it was stated today that it may be a week before sub-station and pole lines are repaired sufficiently to provide this city with light and power.
The blaze, which started in the rear of the Borghi grocery store on the Richmond road opposite the Southern Pacific depot at noon, spread rapidly and destroyed the Red River Lumber Company’s lumber yards, apartments and office, coal and lime that was stored, the restaurant of Morgan & Malone, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Straup and many small buildings. The sub-station of the Lassen Electric company was destroyed and many of the company’s poles.
The Hansen Ice Company’s properties were threatened for a time, and it was only the Southern Pacific firefighting engine that ran along the track and turned steam full force on the buildings and coal that saved that plant.
Along with the help of fire fighting forces, the Lassen Lumber & Box Company sent their fire apparatus to the scene, while the Southern Pacific engine fought along the tracks.
The buildings were located out of the fighting had to be done with garden hose and chemicals. The heat from the coal and burning lumber was so intense it was impossible to save that part of the district. Windows of buildings across the street were cracked and people in the neighborhood moved their furniture and household goods from their homes, because the fire seemed so threatening.
Hundreds of people lined the hills and watched the devastation. The coal and lumber and lime will burn for days.
Theodore Walker, resident manager of the Red River Limber Company of Westwood, after having been informed by telephone of the fire, drove from Westwood to Susanville, a distance of twenty miles in nineteen minutes, but by the time he arrived their property was burned.
A few months ago P.A. Quigley of Lovelock, NV, contracted to buy the Red River lumber yards here. About two weeks ago he died very suddenly with a heart attack. Mrs. Quigley has just returned from having buried her husband at Fresno and was attempting to take up the broken threads of life and carry on the business, but was powerless to do anything but stand and see the property burn.
Many beautiful trees were burned. Some of them were forty years old and the beauty of that section of Susanville is ruined. As the strangers step from the Southern Pacific train charred and black ruins will greet their view.