"Quite a Serious Fire" Burns Multiple Homes Corte Madera June 30, 1913
See story below image of newspaper.
From Mill Valley Record July 5, 1913:
"CORTE MADERA HAS QUITE A SERIOUS FIRE
Monday evening a telephone message was received here stating that a bad fire was raging at Corte Madera and asking assistance from our fire department. [Mill Valley] Chief Bedecarrax was notified, but it was ascertained that the railroad company had sent a car load of hose there which it was impossible to use owing to their not having standard fire hydrants, consequently there would be no use in the Mill Valley department going to Corte Madera when they could be of no use.
The fire originated in the home of Frank Russell and before the blaze could be extinguished the homes of Robert Keeley and Mrs. Mary Hart, the Alaskan lecturer, ware burned to the ground and the homes of George Haitian and William Minehan partially destroyed. It is stated that the loss amounts to about $4,500.
The fire departments of Larkspur, San Anselmo and Ross, which are close by, responded and did excellent work, considering the lack of water. The fire laddies and the neighbors performed valuable service and saved the entire town, which at one time was in danger, from destruction. Several small grass fires were started in the vicinity by sparks from the blazing buildings. George Kyne, a cigar salesman, was severely injured by the explosion of a hand chemical fire extinguisher which he was using."
Marin Fire History Editors note: While the railroad line existed, most of the roads were still dirt or hard-packed gravel at that time, and the Marin Municipal Water District had just been formed in 1912. Most of the water systems at that time, if any existed at all, had been run by private water companies who were typically real estate developers or connected to them. The Corte Madera Volunteer Fire Department was very young, and equipment consisted of hose carts, hose, nozzles, and hand tools. We will add more to this story over time.