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HomeThis Day in HistoryThis Day in Susanville History - July 25th, 1947

This Day in Susanville History – July 25th, 1947

A view from the air as the Hotel Mt. Lassen burns, 1947

Blaze Razes Lassen Hotel
Night Clerk Reported Missing;
Fire Damage Estimated at $500,000
July 25th, 1947

Firemen yesterday probed the smoldering ruins left by a $500,000 fire in Susanville, searching for the body of a missing hotel clerk who is believed to have perished in the blaze.

The missing man is James Daugherty, 50, night clerk of the Mt. Lassen Hotel in which the conflagration began. He is believed to have been trapped in a basement room when flames roared through the three story structure.

The hotel and six business establishments were razed by the fire which broke out from undetermined cause about 9a.m. The flames were still burning fiercely by 2p.m. but the spread of the fire had been controlled by that time.

Fourteen pieces of fire equipment battled the blaze to prevent it from spreading even further , but were unable to prevent destruction of several stores and offices. They include a clothing shop, hardware store, real estate office, insurance firm, oculist’s office and offices of the California State Automobile Association and those of the U.S. Bureau of Internal Revenue. The last named office lost all its income and federal tax records according to report.

Fire escape on the south side of the hotel

The blaze began in the hotel basement, spreading quickly to the hotel restaurant and bakery. The entire building, Susanville’s largest hotel, was soon enveloped in flames.

Thirty hotel guests were escorted down fire escapes to safety by firemen before the fire reached its climax, and last night were being cared for by the Lassen County Red Cross Chapter.

Six firemen were overcome by smoke in battling the blaze, but no other injuries were reported as occurring during the fire fighting.

Equipment was sent from Westwood and Herlong to aid the Susanville force, while other fire trucks were dispatched from the U. S. Forest Service facilities, state division of forestry and the Paul Bunyan Lumber Co.


We are always looking for new pictures to preserve and share in our historical photo collection and we would love to see yours.Your picture will be added to our digital archive for future use and we will make sure you receive credit whenever possible. Email your contribution along with your name and a short description of what you’ve sent to A digital copy of every submission will also be donated to the Lassen Historical Society for preservation in their files.


Don’t know how to scan your photos?

Our friends at the UPS Store have offered to professionally scan your vintage photo submissions for free. Just stop by 2850 Main Street in Susanville and they will be happy to help you.



Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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