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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Eastern Washington: The town of Milan was almost completely destroyed in a fire caused by a cigarette

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )

The small town of Milan, just east of Deer Park, was almost entirely destroyed by a wildfire caused by a discarded cigarette.

About 16 buildings were leveled, including the post office, hotel and town hall.

Some 200 firefighters battled the blaze. No deaths were reported.

After the fire swept through the town, little remained other than a lone chimney and a water pump. The Odd Fellows Hall and the Great Northern Depot, farther north than the main part of town, were still standing.

A photo on the front page of the Spokane Daily Chronicle showed about 20 people, “a large portion of the inhabitants of Milan,” gathered around a few hastily erected tents. The tents were rushed to the scene as temporary housing for the beleaguered residents.

From the court beat: A hearing into the sanity of Anna Corbin, alleged arsonist and widow of Spokane tycoon D.C. Corbin, was scheduled before a panel of doctors.

Corbin was facing trial for first degree arson for her role in the burning of her own landmark home, allegedly for the purpose of collecting insurance.

The hearing was at the behest of Martin Paulsen, the new caretaker of the home, alleging that Corbin was “acting in such a manner as to lead him to believe she is insane.”

Her trial had already been postponed because of “her physical condition.”

On this day

(From Associated Press)

1834: The Spanish Inquisition was abolished more than 350 years after its creation.

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