Thursday, February 2, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 2

February 2, 1912 – Fire of unknown origins completely destroyed the Cloquet hospital today and four patients on an upper floor had narrow escapes from suffocation, three of them being carried down a ladder in an unconscious condition. The fourth patient, a powerful lumberjack, was so crazed by fright that the combined efforts of several men were required to get him out of the building. All were soon revived, however, and no serious effects are anticipated.

The fire was first discovered at approximately 2:45 p.m., by Dr. Dolan, one of the owners, who smelled smoke. He was unable to find the fire and went outside the building just in time to see a flash of flame through the roof.

There were 11 patients in the hospital, seven on the first floor and four men upstairs. Those on the first floor were removed without trouble, but the fire spread so rapidly that a ladder was necessary for those on the upper floor. Before they could be carried away, three of them had succumbed to the smoke, while the woodsman referred to was almost a raving maniac. Local businessmen looked after the removal of the patients while the fire department devoted its energies to the flames.

The building, which was formerly a Catholic church, was all frame-construction and one of the earliest landmarks of the city.

It is thought that the fire started from the chimney in the walls and floors, but it burst out so rapidly that it is hard to determine the exact cause.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Fire Razes Cloquet Hospital. Four Patients on Upper Floor Are Rescued With Great Difficulty.”; February 3, 1912; p. 1.

The Pine Knot; “Bad Fire in Hospital. Blaze in Cloquet Hospital Yesterday Afternoon, But All Patients Are Rescued”; Feb. 3, 1912; p. 1.

The Pine Knot; “Doctors in New Locations”; Feb. 2, 1912; p. 1.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Feb. 2, 2017,
as long as acknowledgement included. 


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
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