Men surrounded by fire fight for their lives – The Free Press Turns 115 years Old

Men surrounded by fire fight for their lives (Files from August 8 1908) - The Free Press Turns 115 years Old

  • Dec. 31, 2012 8:00 a.m.

August 8 1908

The Cranbrook Prospector Files

Probably the most heroic and dangerous fight of all was made by the bush gang of the Elk River Lumber Co. at camp 4 situated a mile east of town and entirely surrounded by heavy timber which of course was all afire. There was between 55 and 60 men and two women at camp 4, the ladies being the wife and niece of foreman G. Warren Severn, who were spending the summer at the camp, having came up from Spokane a couple of weeks ago.

It was 3:20, Saturday afternoon when the fire first got dangerous and the horn was blown at 3:35 calling all the men form the woods. They immediately started to fight and tried in every possible way to save the camp but were finally driven off by the intense heat and blinding smoke. They took what they could carry and went our on a sand bar in the middle of the river. while fire surrounded them on every side and every minute seemed to be their last.

Alex Kennedy was the last man to leave camp. He having gone back to bring out four horses that broke away. He met Harry Thompson and Jim Milburn and called to them to run to the bar, but they went a little way up the hill to get ant hooks to move burning logs. Milburn got to the bar after a terrible fight for life, his eyes being almost  burned out of his head. Harry Thompson got lost, and made for the river, and after having his clothes burnt off, succeeded in reaching it. He threw himself into the river and tried to swim but could not hold his head above water. He thought he was about to be burned to death and decided to commit suicide but did not have the necessary nerve, after being in the water for six hours he finally managed to swim the river and although almost blind and terribly burned succeeded in reaching town.

 

For more great stories that ran in The Free Press in the past 115 years http://issuu.com/thefreepress/docs/115_the_free_press/1

Just Posted

Sledder dies near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue was tasked by the RCMP to respond to a sledder in medical distress

GALLERY: Elkford goes wild for winter

Big turnout to annual Winter in the Wild festival in Elkford

Fernie Mountain Film Festival this weekend

The Radicals, This Mountain Life to headline Fernie Mountain Film Festival Feb. 22-24

City of Fernie poised to approve $19.3m loan for multi-purpose centre

The City must prove it can pay its portion of the $72.5 million centre if successful for a grant

Elk Valley mines boost overall Teck production

Fording River, Elkview achieve record fourth quarter; Fording, Greenhills have bumper year

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

Kootenay man dies in crash near Sparwood

Accident occurred last night east of Sparwood, RCMP appealing for witnesses

POLL: Are Wildlife Detection Systems in the Elk Valley working?

In 2016, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) installed two wildlife… Continue reading

Sparwood zoning bylaw review underway

This is the first comprehensive review of the bylaw since it was adopted in 1981

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Most Read