A black and white postcard of the Chihuahua hill fire of July 1st 1907. The front caption in ink on the bottom reads: “This is a general view of the fire. 7/1/07. Hennia. The postcard was postmarked Bisbee Ariz. July 1st 1907, 5 PM and was sent my Hennia to B.F. Eggleston and Mrs C.S. Ables, Clifty, Arkansas. The postcard was published by the Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York under the AZO label.
On June 28th 1907, a fire broke out when a gas stove exploded at the Colorado Boarding house on OK Street. Mrs. Carter, the house’s manager, alerted all the tenants who escaped unharmed. Several elements impacted the severity of the Chihuahua Hill fire, among them was wood framed buildings, gas-based stoves, bad water availability, and high winds contributed to the size and strength of the fire. The volunteer fire fighting for faced difficulty fighting the blaze. A lack of equipment prevented them from spraying the two- and three-story homes. In the attempt to evacuate caused wagon wheels to run over the fire men's hoses effecting water pressure. All of the miners working underground were brought out to help the firemen and like the great October fire of the following year, they dynamited houses to create a firebreak to help end the spread. Following the Chihuahua Hill fire, seventy-six houses were destroyed and another thirty houses were damaged which left a thousand residents homeless. Though no lives were lost, $200,000 worth of damages were caused and insurance only covered half of the expenses. Before the catastrophe a woman named Emanuel Anderson predicted the exact date and time of the fire three weeks before its occurrence. On December 25th 1907, a second fire broke out in the rear room of a home owned by W.D. Kinsey that boarded an El Paso & Southwestern porter, F. Parker. The fire consumed the whole building and from there it spread to other houses owned by Loredo and Starr Williams. Firemen left their Christmas dinners to help contain the flames. Unlike the devastating fire of June 28th, it took only 30 minutes for the blaze to be contained. The only main hinderance to fighting the fire this time was that when they were laying the hose, they accidently switched around the wrong ends and had to correct to connect to the hydrants. The only noted casualty was B. Caretto who owned a number of houses on Chihuahua Hill. In the pandemonium, he was accidently cut on the wrist missing the artery while moving possessions out of the way. In the end, six houses were lost, one hundred people rendered homeless, and caused $15,000 ($438,131 in 2021) worth of damages.
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