News: Colby (Village Fire - 12 Aug 1886)
Contact: Robert Lipprandt
----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, Clark Co., Wisconsin) Wednesday, August 10, 2011, page 2
Article reprinted from the Colby Phonograph (original publishing date, August 12, 1886)
On Sunday and Monday Colby has about as close an escape from total destruction by fire as a town could possibly have and yet escape.
For several days fire had been raging in the woods south of this village, but little thought was given it until Sunday morning, when a strong wind was blowing from the south and hurrying the flames directly toward the village.
An alarm was sounded and in a short time men were rushing with pails and axes to the southern part of the village.
A decided fight was made about fifteen rods south of the corner of the Wausau road where the house of Robert Foote stands. For some time it seemed that it would be an utter impossibility to save the house, but to let that burn with the wind in the south, meant a clean sweep, and the fighters fought heroically.
About noon the wind veered a point to the west and bout the same time it was discovered that the fire had made a jump and was burning close to the Catholic church in the southeastern part of the village.
A number of men left the main fire to head it off from the church. It was not until late in the afternoon that the fire was at least under control.
At this time, the course of the fire was turned toward the east, and the men were given short respite, though the fire required constant attention.
The wind went down with the sun, and from that time until dark, work was kept up extinguishing small blazes here that there.
Watchmen were appointed and the tired ones attempted to get a little rest but the smoke was so dense it was impossible to sleep.
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