Monday, August 28, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 28

August 28, 1906 – The plant of the American Can Company, the Heinz Pickle Company and a small two-story frame flat building, all off Fillmore Ave. E. in St. Paul, were wiped out by flames early today.

The fire started in a storage shed of the Heinz Pickle Company. Andres Shaton, night watchman of the can company, discovered the flames and turned in an alarm at 12:28 a.m. Ten minutes later the flames had gained such headway that Assistant Chief Devlin sent a call for additional apparatus.

The fire leapt from the storage shed to the main plant, and then to the building of the American Can Company. A high wind fanned the flames and made the efforts of the firemen fruitless.


At 12:30 a third call was sent for help and at 1:49, when, after an hour of strenuous battling, it appeared that the flames were going to get away from the firemen entirely, a fourth call was made for apparatus.

When this summons was answered there were eight engines, three trucks and two chemicals on the scene.

East of the can company’s buildings there stood a two-story frame flat. Chief Strapp ordered the tenants to move as soon as he saw that it was impossible to save the can company building. The tenants fled with whatever they were able to lay hands to in the way of clothing.

At 2:30 when one of the walls of the can company fell, the intense heat set fire to the flat and in a few minutes it was enveloped in flames. Later the east wall of the can factory fell with the wind and buried the ruins of the flat.

The Minneapolis Journal; $355,000 Loss In A St. Paul Fire. Flames Destroy Two Big Plants and Flats Building Near River Front. Three-Hour Battle for Fire Department. American Can Company and Heinz Pickle August 28, 1906; p. 1.




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