Fire & Water

Many Seattleites are familiar with the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, but other conflagrations have hit the city over the last century or so. One of the biggest of these was the Belltown Fire on June 10, 1910. It started near the waterfront and swept into downtown Seattle reaching 2nd Avenue, ultimately destroying six city blocks. Fortunately, the 40 mph winds calmed and Seattle’s signature rainfall subdued the blaze. This was a stroke of good luck, since the city’s newly mechanized fire department was powerless to stop the fire.
Here, we see a shot across Railroad Avenue (present day Alaskan Way) near the foot of Wall Street at the ruins of the Puget Sheetmetal Building (left) and the Glenorchy Hotel (right). The shot also offers a good view of the railroad trestles that crisscrossed Seattle's waterfront before the seawall was constructed.


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