Sunday, January 28, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 28

January 28, 1909 – One of the most destructive fires in the history of Big Falls, Minn., occurred early this morning just after midnight. J. J. Curey and Joseph Leblane, two homesteaders who were sleeping in a building lost their lives. Paul Lawrence, owner of a saloon and restaurant in the burned building, lies in the Bemidji hospital near death, being badly burned on his hands, feet and neck. Mrs. Lawrence’s condition is still more pitiful.

In attempting to get out of her room on the second story of the building, she was badly burned on the left side and back, and her feet cut while crossing the street to a place of safety. Two unidentified guests were sleeping in the third story of the building and were forced to jump, one breaking his hip. All the injured people were given temporary care by Dr. Ratcliff and were brought to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Bemidji this morning.

The Minneapolis Tribune; “Big Falls, Minn., Fire. Homesteaders Asleep When Flames Suddenly Break. Several Others Painfully Injured in Making Escape.”; Jan. 28, 1909; p. 3.


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