F. Kiernan - November 4, 1879 (#12)
Engine Co. No. 4 - 144 2nd Street
BUILDING FIRE - FALLING CHIMNEY
719 JACKSON STREET
FIRE IN CHINATOWN.
LIVELY BLAZE AND CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE
1879 November 5
About seven o'clock last night a brilliant fire burst forth from the rear of 712 Jackson street, lighting the sky with a lurid glare and attracting an immense crowd to the place. The buildings in the vicinity are mostly brick, yet as immense amount of inflammable material had been collected by the Chinese occupants, and It burned with fearful rapidity. The firemen work hard and effectually to prevent a spreading of the fire. They were seriously hindered by the excited Chinamen and their generous antagonists, the hoodlums, who threw rocks, cheered as the flames gained headway, and jeered as they were subdued. So riotous did their demonstrations promise to become that Captain Short and a posse of officers charged them, driving them back, and demonstrating the favors the mob might expect If persisting In their cowardly course. Great credit is due Captain Short and his men and the fire department for their efficiency, as displayed last night. The damage will reach fully $10,000, divided among about a dozen Chinese tradesmen and the owners of the buildings. The three-story building, No. 710 Jackson street, is owned by a Sansome-street merchant named Babatie. It was occupied by Yung Fong as a restaurant. The first and second stories were principally Injured by water. The third story was burned into and the rear destroyed, being also deluged. Damage unknown ; insurance, $10,000. The basement was occupied by Tin Yuen as a jewelry shop ; damaged mostly by water ; damage light ; no insurance. No. 712 led to a lodging-house on the top floor of a two -story building owned by a Spanish woman living on Vallejo street. It was kept by Ah Yuen, completely demolished, insured for $1,000. It was on the roof of the building that the fire originated. The basement was unoccupied. The building was leased by three Chinamen –Chung Foy and Ah Ling, and a partner at present in China. On the ground floor, Ohing Chong kept a jewelry store; not known to be insured. The next building is on the corner of a narrow alley, technically called "Murderer’s Alley." It is a three-story brick, belonging to the estate of Matthew Crooks. The basement was occupied by Ah Loy as a lodging house, the ground floor by Shay Woo (720) as a grocery store, Lai Shay ( 718) as a jewelry establishment, and the two upper stories are used as lodging house by Ah Poon, insured for $1400, and Ah Kim, insured, but amount unknown. Two firemen were injured while fighting the fire. When the ladder was first raised to the rear of the middle building, frightened rats swarmed down on it in such numbers that the firemen actually had to tight them off. A Chinese ingrate, named Wong Ah Fong, stole the coats of three of the truckmen belonging to Hook and Ladder No. 2, while they were busy at the fire, and put them all on himself. He was detected by Officers Baak and Frisble, and lodged in the City Prison on a charge of petty larceny.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 31, Number 10797, 5 November 1879 — FIRE IN CHINATOWN. [ARTICLE]
Extracted from original sources with grammar and spelling as published.