Verde Heritage: 1897: JEROME FIRE on Christmas Eve

"On Saturday, [December 25,] the 'Journal-Miner' received a special telegram from Jerome, giving an account of a disastrous conflagration which occurred there on Friday night. The fire started about 11 o'clock, and had its origin in the explosion of a lamp in Charley Shaw's, better known as Japanese Charley's lodging house. The lamp showed symptoms of being about to explode, when a woman picked it up and attempted to throw it out of doors. Just where her defective aim hit was not stated in the telegram, but the lamp exploded with results as stated, setting fire first to the lodging house and quickly spreading to the adjoining buildings."

"The burned part of the town is known as the Connors-Tamborino block, and the only building left in it is the three story brick of David Connors, which was slightly damaged."

"The property destroyed was as follows: Jennie Baunters, lodging house, loss, $3,000, insurance, $900; Japanese Charley, $2,500, no insurance; W. J. Roberts, $8,000, insurance, $2,000. Alex Cordiner's, John Valdrini's, Hooker & McFarland's and the St. Elmo saloons were all burned, no insurance. Joe Tamborino's loss is placed at $10,000, with $4,000 insurance."

"George Emmett's barber shop, T. M. Elder's bottling works, and the St. Elmo restaurant, total loss, no insurance."

"The fire lasted fully 2 hours and was only prevented from crossing the street by Connor's three story building, cutting it off."

"Con O'Keefe's store and Cordiner & Hoover's saloon were slightly damaged."

"This is the third disastrous fire which has occurred in Jerome during the past few years, but many of the buildings lately erected have been built of stone."

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; December 29, 1897; page 1.)

"WOMAN SANTA CLAUS: Jerome's Christmas Gift was a $40,000 Conflagration."

"Jerome, Dec. 25. --- Fire destroyed a business block last night. It started in the lodging house of 'Japanese Charley,' and it was impossible to fight it. The best that could be done was to protect the adjoining property. A defective lamp which a woman attempted to throw out a window was the cause of the fire. The total loss is $40,000. David Conners' three-story brick building on the corner is all that saved the entire town from destruction. The men of the United Verde Copper Company gave great help and were instrumental in protecting property."

"The individual loss is as follows: Jennie Banters' lodging house, loss $3,000, insurance, $900. Charley Shaw (Japanese Charley's) lodging house and restaurant, loss $4,000, insurance $2,500. W. M. J. Roberts' Falcon lodging house and restaurant, loss, $8,000, insurance, $2,000. Alexander Cordiner, John Valdrini, Hooker and McFarland, all saloons, no insurance. Charles Clark's fruit store and news agency, Joseph Tamborineo, lodging house and saloon, loss $12,000, insurance $4,000. George Emmett, barber shop; Tom Elder's bottling works, St. Elmo restaurant, $8,000, no insurance."

(Arizona Republican; Phoenix; December 26, 1897; page 1.)

"A recent event proves the necessity of better fire protection. The loss was in a quarter that has been looked upon as 'hell's half acre,' or tenderloin district, and few outside of saloons are the sufferers, lest it be the poor frail creatures who make their abiding place in this quarter."

(Arizona Republican; Phoenix; December 30, 1897; page 4.)

JEROME FIRE on Thursday, May 27, 1897.

"Thursday night, fire started in a cabin owned by Happy Jack Abbercon, and located on the hillside just above the bend southwest of the smelter. Before the fire was got under control 17 small shacks were either burned or thrown down the hill to prevent their burning. The company's tramway caught fire but was not damaged to any extent. The loss was very light. No insurance. Mrs. Boyd and G. W. Hull, the owners of the property on which the houses were built, will not allow others to be erected there."

(Phoenix Weekly Herald; Thursday, June 3, 1897; page 4.)

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