Thursday, March 31, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 31

March 31, 1914 – Fifteen hundred patrons of the Miles Theater sat calmly watching the show this evening while six engine companies fought a spectacular blaze in the bill room on the third floor. Several lines of hose were taken into the theater building and Chief Charles Ringer was painfully bruised when he fell through the glass canopy in the front.

Manager Galligher assured the audience the fire was a small one. Instead of getting panicky, the audience applauded him.

The bill room, full of paper, was easy prey to the flames, which, it is believed, originated in the fuse box of the theater’s electric sign. The alarm was a silent alarm, and every precaution was taken to prevent a panic.

Chief Ringer was directing his men from a window and jumped to what he believed firm footing on the roof of the canopy, when the fire reached the window. He landed on the glass roof and went through and hung there until firemen dragged him to safety.

The damage was confined to the third floor and was estimated to be about $500.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Audience of 1,500 Sits Quietly Through Fire in Miles Theater Building”; April 1, 1914; p. 2.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; March 29, 1914; p. 9.


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