Lake Charles remembers Great Fire of 1910 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles remembers Great Fire of 1910

by Brandon Richards bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC-TV) – It's been 100 years since a fire destroyed seven blocks in downtown Lake Charles.

The fire started on a sunny Saturday afternoon on April 23, 1910. The fire began in a small trash can behind Blaske's Soft Drink Stand, or the "Old Opera House Saloon" on North Ryan Street.

The owners of the stand called the fire department, which was located nearby, but the firemen were no match for the gusty winds and the highly inflammable construction, mainly wooden buildings.

The fire spread quickly, engulfing block after block, causing $750,000 (in 1910 currency) in property damage as it consumed more than 100 buildings. Among the structural causalities, were the Immaculate Conception Church, City Hall and the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse. Most of the legal documents located inside the courthouse were lost.

On Saturday, local officials and town's people dedicated the 1911 Memorial Plaza outside the 1911 Historic City Hall building, the city hall which replaced the one that perished in the 1910 fire.

The Lake Charles Historic Arts and Cultural Center is also hosting an exhibition, called "From the Ashes: Commemorating the Great Fire of 1910," containing recently discovered artifacts from the fire that were located beneath the plaza. The exhibition also includes a locally-produced documentary about the fire.

For more information about the exhibition, call the Lake Charles Historic Arts and Cultural Center at (337) 491-9147.

Copyright 2010 KPLC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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