Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 10

October 10, 1905 – The St. Raphael’s Hospital in St. Cloud, the best equipped general hospital between Minneapolis and the Pacific Coast, was destroyed this noon by fire that started near the elevator shaft on the fourth floor.

Fifty-three patients and sixteen sisters of the order of St. Benedict were all removed to safety, but those on the third floor crawled through dense smoke. A half dozen patients were operated on yesterday, and are in precarious condition. The fireman fought the flames from the roof, and after a fight lasting four hours, controlled it to the roof, garret and third floor. The loss, however, will be about $60,000, with insurance of $30,000.

St. Raphael’s was established in 1900 by the order of St. Benedict. It was a pressed brick building with four stories.

Among the sick were 19 typhoid patients. Many were taken to the St. Joseph’s home for the aged and to the St. Clotilda’s academy.

Heartrending cries followed the removal of the sick, relatives being unable to locate their dear ones and fearing they had perished.

The local fire department worked bravely, but was handicapped by the lack of apparatus.

The Benedictines assert the structure will be replaced. The exact origin of the fire is a mystery, but it is believed it was caused by an armature on a small motor in the garret used to operate the dummy elevator, burning and setting fire to the woodwork surrounding.

The Minneapolis Tribune; “Patients Rescued From Burning St. Raphael’s Hospital at St. Cloud. Loss to Building and its Contents Will Reach $60,000.”; Oct. 11, 1905; p. 1.

St. Raphael’s Hospital in 1890



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