Thursday evening clouds of smoke were seen rolling up in the woods about ten miles northwest of LaPorte, and Friday they had made considerable headway but no great fear was expressed except in one or two instances as there was no wind and property could be protected by backfire.
Friday night, however, the wind became stronger and increased in fury until Saturday afternoon when it became a hurricane, and flying embers were carried in some cases over half a mile. There having been no rain for several weeks, the dead and down timber and undergrowth were dry as tinder, and all day, the fire raged in fury and every available man, woman and child in the village and surrounding country went out to help save property that was threatened every moment with destruction.
As the wind was blowing from the northwest and the land adjoining the village in that direction is pretty well cleared, no great danger threatened the town. The greatest fear was that the wind would change into the south and then George Child's residence and the houses on Fifth Avenue would be in serious jeopardy.
So far as has been reported the farmers in this vicinity have been remarkably fortunate as there was no loss of life and but comparatively little loss of properly. There were many close calls, however, and that some escaped is little less than a miracle.
Among the most threatening instances and dangerous conditions was that experienced by Mrs. Roy Troxell. She was alone in the house with her little boy, Roy having gone to help a neighbor, when she saw the flames rushing toward her. She went into the house, collected a few articles and started to leave for a place of safety when she saw she was completely surrounded. Fortunately, however, Roy had made a fire break on the side of the house next to the wind, and in a little while the danger was past.
The new home of John Birt, and property belonging to Paul Filla, Carl Emblom, Irven Hawkins and others seemed to be doomed at one time, but was finally saved.
A Mr. Peterson living northwest of town lost a small house and some other properly, Joe Reinerz, Jim Toombs and Robert Robinson lost more or less hay, and the Reid school house east of Charley Berry's over the line in Cass County was burned.
As compared with other places, however, the people of Hubbard County have great reason to be thankful. On the iron range twenty-nine towns were more orless wiped out, including Cloquet, Aitkin, Carlton and West Duluth, and over 1,000 lives were lost. It is the greatest catasphrophe that has swept over the state since the Hinkley fire twenty-four years ago.