ARMY OF MEN BATTLE SUSANVILLE CONFLAGRATION
July 31st, 1924
An army of 1,500 men is camped about the city limits of Susanville tonight, guarding the town against destruction by forest fire, threatened throughout the day. All business houses and the two large lumber mills were closed today as the flames entered the city limits and destroyed four houses.
All available men joined the fight. For hours this afternoon the residents were in momentary fear that the entire town would be wiped out. A solid wall of flame hovered at the edge of the Lassen County metropolis.
The blare of fire whistles from the lumber mills called out all workers, and business men also rushed to the scene of the blaze.
Fire at Hospital
Patients were removed from the county hospital when the fire, a menace to the city Sunday, again broke from control this morning and showered sparks about the building.
As the flames crept into the hospital yard 15 men and women inmates were taken to the Riverside hospital in the eastern part of Susanville. Westwood sent 50 men and equipment to assist in checking the fire. The flames crossed the right of way of the Southern Pacific railroad but trains went through on schedule.
After being brought partially under control last night, the fire flared up-anew at about noon, sweeping, everything before it for a stretch of three miles, until it reached the city limits. Hills to the south and southwest of Susanville are covered with only charred stumps of trees. The houses destroyed were in the Winchester addition in the southern section of the town.
Water Supply Fails
Pumps were used to protect the enormous piles of lumber in the Lassen Lumber and Box Company and the Fruit Growers Supply Company yards. The water was taken from the mill pond and ditches. In many cases this afternoon, however, the supply was completely depleted.
Where the supply of water ran out, only the chance that sparks failed to fall, saved valuable property in the mills and town. With the fire line at the city limits, women of Susanville worked this afternoon and evening preparing food for the firefighters who will remain on duty tonight.
The fire is reported completely out of control, telephone lines between the camp and Susanville are down and detailed information of the blaze is lacking.
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