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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Eastern Washington: Fire leveled much of the town of Opportunity

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

A large portion of the town of Opportunity was leveled by a devastating nighttime fire.

“Equipped only with buckets and garden hoses, several hundred residents of Opportunity and vicinity battled to save buildings and their contents,” reported the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

Three men were overcome by smoke as they battled the fire on the roof of the town’s telephone building. One of them was still in a “dangerous condition.”

When dawn arrived, about eight downtown buildings were in ruins, including the post office, a grocery store, a drugstore, a cafe, a barbershop and a doctor’s office.

The fire started in an auto mechanic’s garage, from an unknown cause. It spread “quickly to the oil room and in a few moments the entire interior of the garage was ablaze.”

The downtown merchants vowed to quickly rebuild – in brick.

From the court beat: A judge heard a motion to increase the bond of Fay McDonald, one of the two notorious McDonald sisters.

Prosecutors said her bond of $2,000 was insufficient, citing obvious reasons. A week earlier, her sister Marie McDonald failed to show up for sentencing and forfeited her $2,000 bond. Now, the prosecutor believed that Fay had also fled the jurisdiction.

Both sisters had been acquitted of murder in one of the most sensational trials in Spokane history, but were later convicted on forgery charges.

The judge took the motion under advisement.

Also on this day

(From the Associated Press)

1536: Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery.

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