Glenwood Springs bugged by ‘fire bugs’ in 1888
Editor’s note: Frontier Diary normally runs every Thursday. Due to restricted space Thursday, it is running today.By Willa SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum “Fire! Fire!”Shouts of warning and volleys of pistol fire roused members of the Glenwood Springs fire department the evening of Oct, 1, 1888. The glare of fire was coming from a small unoccupied house in the 800 block of Pitkin Avenue.Within a minute of the initial report, members of the Glenwood Hose Company pulled their cart down Eighth Street toward the blaze. They were followed by a cart pulled by the men of the Glenwood Hook and Ladder Company. A stream of water extinguished the fire, but the structure was a loss. The men of the fire department were again roused from their sleep at 4:30 a.m. that same night. This time, Henry Kamm’s stable on Colorado Avenue was ablaze. The intense fire completely destroyed the building and its contents. Two firefighters were hurt trying to extinguish the flames.The next morning’s Ute Chief newspaper reported pieces of kindling were found beneath the stable’s charred floor. Kindling was also discovered near the destroyed house. The newspaper concluded that an arsonist was at work. An arrest of the perpetrator was demanded.With another suspicious house fire occurring the evening of Oct.11, the Ute Chief wrote, “Members of the fire department sleep now with one boot on and one eye open, expecting to hear of further work by the fire bugs.”The final suspicious fire occurred on Dec. 1, 1888, when an evening blaze was discovered behind the Meadows Brothers Meat Market. Again the fire was extinguished. The cause was mysterious.The work of the arsonist ceased that December. Although there was a description of the suspected incendiary, no person was ever caught.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.
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