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Great Fires: 1906 Great Earthquake & Fire

Reports of Fire Officers
San Francisco Fire Department
1906 Great Earthquake & Fire
Captain Daniel Newell
Engine Company No. 13, 1458 Valencia Street
Apparatus: 1890 LaFrance, 3rd size, steam engine, 600 GPM

On the morning of the earthquake April 18th, 1906, our Company first removed the horses and apparatus to a place of safety in the street, from where we responded to a still alarm at 22nd & Mission Sts. Arriving there we found Lippman's Drygoods Store on fire, and took the hydrant on the corner of Bartlett & 22nd Sts., but could get no water; therefore we canvassed the neighborhood testing all hydrants but were not successful in obtaining water until we reached Valencia & 22nd Sts. We worked under directions of Battalion Chief McKittrick and with the aid of other Companies were able to extinguish this fire at 12 M, April 18th, 1906.

Our next move was to Hayes Valley where we reported to Chief Dougherty who sent us to Laguna & Oak Sts., but finding three engines in line from that hydrant we searched the neighborhood for water but were unable to obtain any. Battalion Chief Dolan directed us to the corner of Gough and Eddy Sts. and in connection with Engine Company #24, we led a line to the corner of Gough & Grove Sts., fighting the fire at that point under command of Battalion Maxwell. We fought the fire in this vicinity for sixteen hours finally saving the corner of Gough & Golden Gate Ave.

On April 19th, at about 4 A. M. we were ordered to Fifteenth & Shotwell Sts., reporting to Battalion Chief McKittrick. We were able to save the East side of Shotwell St., north of Fifteenth St. and worked in this vicinity until three P. M. of April 19th, 1906. Finding water at Fifteenth & Valencia Sts., we led down to Mission St., fighting the fire at that point, but finding the pressure inadequate we removed to Eighteenth & Howard Sts., connecting with a broken main.

We next endeavored to obtain water at Church & Twentieth Sts., but finding other Companies in line at this point, we assisted in this vicinity until the fire was extinguished on Twentieth St. We were finally ordered to our quarters at 11 A. M. April 20th, 1906, having been in duty 53 hours.

S. & P.
(signed) Daniel Newell, Capt

From the files of Battalion Chief Fred J. Bowlen, S. F. F. D. 

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