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Articles & Local History > Burden Opera House Damaged by Fire 1923

Tampico Tornado, February 1. 1923


Fire broke out in the basement of the Burden Opera House block between 6 and 7 o'clock Sunday morning and for a time threatened to get beyond control and sweep the entire business black. The fire started in the basement under the Auto Parts Co., where there was no stove and the origin of the blaze is unknown. The fire had evidently been smoldering for some time as the building was filled with smoke which made the work of the firemen very difficult and great care had to be taken to prevent their being overcome with smoke.

The fire department made a quick run to the fire and only by the most strenuous work were they able to get the fire under control and save the nearby wooden buildings. Marshall DALEY kept thepressure up to thehigh notch all the time and was able to furnish all the water needed which was considerable as there were three leads of hose playing on the fire some of the time.

The block contains the Auto Parts Co., the Bargain Basement, the Post Office and Shaw's Produce plant below, and the Opera House on the upper floor and these were so filled with smoke as to be hart to get into. The mail in the Post Office was badly blackened and and the stock of the Auto Parts and the Bargain BAsement were badly damaged by the fire and water. The floor of theAuto Parts room was burned through as the also that in the Bargain Basement and the Produce room, partitions in the basement were also burned through and smoke and steam filled the building.

The Volunteer Fire Department did splendid work and earned the hearty ************ forsight of the Council in putting in the new wells and pump made it possible for them to have plenty of water and possibly saved the west side of Main Street from a much heavier loss of property.

On account of the damage by fire, the opera house will be closed for an indefinite period to comply with the regulations in regard to public safety. 

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