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We have a winner. Tom McTevia sent the correct answer by email Friday: The 1906 Fire.

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The Orofino fire of 1906 started in the kitchen of the Noble Hotel. It was located at the foot of Canada Hill on the corner of 3rd St. and Johnson Ave. The Noble Hotel was a two-story wood building with a wooden sidewalk around it.

It started on Sept. 26 and burned down all the businesses on the east side of Orofino Creek. Approximately 15 businesses destroyed.

Less than 60 days later there was a second fire in the upper story of the Prudhommme Building. It was caused by an explosion from the lamp that was used for work. It was formerly the White Pine Building Bridge lot just east of Orofino Creek and Johnson Ave. (now the vacant lot between the bridge over Orofino Creek and the railroad tracks on the south side of the street.

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At that time there were no fire trucks or organized fire departments, so the fires were fought with bucket brigades. That, along with the wooden construction of the buildings, increased the possibility of destruction. The Orofino Fire Department was organized in 1911.

Monday: It was hot.

Tuesday: It started in a kitchen.

Wednesday: A hotel was the first thing to go.

Thursday: The hotel was located at the corner of Johnson and Third St. east of Orofino Creek.

Friday: Approximately 15 businesses were totally destroyed in this incident.

Photos: Top--Noble Hotel and its environs in 1905. Bottom--A photo from Canada Hill looking down Johnson right after the fire. (Photos courtesy of Clearwater Historical Museum)

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Fax: 208-476-3407