Tahoe Douglas Fire restores memorial to 5 men killed in fire 95 years ago
Tahoe-Douglas firefighters on Wednesday restored a memorial in honor of the 95th anniversary of a fire that killed five men on Sept. 28, 1926, in Clear Creek Canyon.
The fire started at the base of Clear Creek at the Smith Ranch beyond Jacks Valley, according to the Oct. 1, 1926 edition of The Record-Courier.
Three of the five men killed in the fire were dead by the newspaper’s deadline.
“The fire spread so rapidly that it was but a short time before the entire mountainside was a seething mass of flames,” the newspaper reported. “The high wind carried the fire toward Carson and hundreds of men were called out to fight the fire. On Sunday, fire patrolman and Bryant Whitmore, a prison guard, were caught in the fire on Kings Canyon Road, where they were endeavoring to check its spread, and have but little chance of recovery.”
Killed outright in the fire were V&T section worker Ralph Morse and inmates George Brown and J.E. Mitchell.
Both Brown and Mitchell would have been paroled shortly for good behavior.
“They volunteered to give assistance at the fire and went into the mountains unguarded,” the paper reported.
Morse had been employed by the railroad for many years and was a Washoe who left a widow and several children.
According to the report, the smoke was so thick in Carson City that lights had to be turned on at 2 p.m. in order to see.
“Everybody in the town were apprehensive and homes were sprinkled with water to lessen the possibility of fire,” The R-C said. “The Carson fire department played a stream of water on the capitol building and gloom was prevalent.”
Tahoe Douglas Fire Marshal Eric Guevin on Wednesday said the fire in Clear Creek had winds similar to those which prompted the power to be shut off on Monday.
Firefighters used bluing to restore the letters to visibility on Wednesday near Spooner.
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