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100 years ago in Spokane: A major fire at a downtown-area dairy drew a crowd, but the milk was promised to be on time the next morning

 (S-R archives)

Thousands of people crowded the streets just north of downtown as firefighters fought a blaze at the Broadview Dairy building on Washington Street.

“Cars on the North Washington line were stalled for hours and hundreds of automobiles were parked on the streets,” The Spokesman-Review wrote.

The fire started in the hay storage room from an unknown cause. Firefighters from 10 stations fought the blaze for three hours. Their efforts were complicated by the need to evacuate 150 horses. Some of the horses were so spooked that they tried to rush back into the building.

“All were turned loose on the streets and after the fire was out, employees combed the city before they were all rounded up,” the paper reported.

Firefighters were successful in preventing any injuries to horses or people.

The fire was confined to the rear half of the building, which consisted of warehouses and stables. The dairy lost a large quantity of hay, along with boxes, crates and ice cream tubs.

Only a few of the dairy’s wagons were destroyed, and the dairy’s boss said that the next morning’s milk deliveries would be made on time.

From the accident beat: Two steeplejacks were badly injured when a scaffold collapsed near the top of the 100-foot smokestack of the St. Maries Lumber Co.

W.F. Legault was painting the smokestack when a rope broke, sending him tumbling down to the roof of the engine room. His helper was on the ground when he saw Legault fall, and rushed to the steep roof of the engine room.

“Just as he reached Legault, he lost his balance and grabbed at Legault to prevent falling,” the paper wrote. “Legault’s body was loosened and both men slid off.”

They were both rushed to the hospital and were reported to be unconscious. Legault’s injuries included a broken back.

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