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Flames Starting Near Bemidji Cut Swath About Fifty Miles Wide
Property Worth Millions Of Dollars Has Been Destroyed And More Than 1,000 Persons Are Homeless

Duluth, October 15 -- More than 1,000 are dead, 12,000 destitute and estimates of those made homeless run as high as 40,000, as a result of Minnesota's greatest disaster, caused by forest fires burning over an area of approximately 80 by 100 miles in Northeastern Minnesota, centering in Pine and Carlton counties, according to the reports received there.

The property loss is expected to run between $50,000,000 and $100,000,000.

Fires in most sections have burned themselves out and the abatement of the high winds caused the blazes to die down, but renewal of the gale may fan countless small fires into furious conflagrations.

Weather reports give no promise of rain quenching the blazes.

196 Bodies at Duluth; 75 at Moose Lake

Officials were reluctant to estimate the number of dead - it being almost impossible to obtain any definite figures from cities and towns, while hundreds of farm homes undoubtedly have been burned and hundreds of persons may eventually be found in these ruins.

One hundred and ninety six bodies had been brought to Duluth: seventy-five bodies, few of which have been identified, are in an impoverished morgue at Moose Lake, and it is known that more than 400 have been burned to death in the Moose Lake-Kettle River district alone; about ten deaths are known to have occured at Cloquet, and Twig, west of Duluth on the Miller Trunk road, is reported completely wiped out and a search is being conducted for bodies.

Scores of others are known to be dead at Brookston, Pine Lake and other villages in Pine, Carlton and St. Louis counties. Burch Lake, a summer resort near Duluth, is virtually wiped out, with a heavy loss of life reported.

The fire fighters caution against relaxation in fighting the fires. Additional aid and large numbers of fire fighters from other sections of the Northwest are needed to relieve the exhausted and burned men fighting the fires, which continue to smolder in all sections.

Forest rangers said that the danger will not be entirely over until a heavy rain falls throughout the entire section. A high wind, they say, will fan the flames into a roaring, seething furnance of fire.

Cloquet Almost Desert Waste

Cloquet, a thriving city of 9,000, is almost level. Every residence in the city is reported burned, but fortunately a warning of the approaching fire came in time to allow every resident of the city to leave.

Twelve trains were made up at Carlton and rushed to Cloquet. The trains were composed of Pullmans, coaches, boxcars, coal cars, ore cars and flatcars. Three bodies have been found there.

Five large mills, including a toothpick factory, lumber mills and other important industries still stand - a reminder of prosperous Cloquet.

Relief work, directed by Adjutant General Rhinow and his aid, Lieutenant Glenn Harrison, is well under way.

All Mesabi, Vermillion and Cuyana Iron range towns are reported safe, though at Nashwauk some buildings are burned and fires are ported near Virginia, Eveleth, Hibbing and West Duluth.

Part of Proctor and West Duluth were burned, but the losses in that section are comparatively small.

Bodies Arrive In Duluth

Bodies are being brought from every village and hamlet stricken by the gale-drive forest fires. The charred bodies are beyond identification and great crowds of eager searchers who have relatives missing are filing in and out of the undertaking establishments, uncertain whether they have identified their people or not.

When day broke on the Pike Lake road, gruesome sights greeted rescuers. Bodies were strewn along the roadside, six in the space of half a mile, the charred remains of five automobiles still stood upright in the ditch, great trees reared their blackened hulks to the skies - everywhere devestation.

The following towns were almost totally destroyedL Cloquet, Brookston, Brevator, Scanlon, Corona, Adolph, Thompson.

Home Guard units from all over the state are being mobilized to assist the dazed survivors.

Instances are being related of several families huddling together in one cellar and being suffocated or crushed to death.

In one cellar near Moose Lake, thirty bodies were discovered. In another cellar eight bodies and more are being discovered as the ruins cool enough to permit search.

Has Start Near Bemidji

The fire started near Bemidji, where fire has been smouldering for weeks. Fanned by a high wind, the flames swept across the state toward Duluth, cutting a swath of 50 miles wide through cut-over lands, bounded on both sides by a chain of lakes.

At Moose Lake the havoc wrought by the blaze was most complete, although the loss of life in the town itself was low, because the inhabitants, warned of the approach of the fire, took refuge in the icy waters of the lake.

Brainerd, Bemidji and Aitin escaped destruction, partly because the wind died down and in part due to the heroic work of volunteer fire fighters.

Duluth and Superior, although suberbs were burned, were untouched by the flames and are serving as a place of refuge for a large number of the 15,000 homeless ones.

The heaviest loss of life was at Moose Lake and vicinity. Adjutant General Rhinow estimating that more than 300 persons died there. Duluth morgues have approximately 200 bodies and officials estimate that several hundred more dead men, women and children are scattered throughout the fire region.

Hibbing Ringed By Fire

Hibbing, although ringed about fire, was unharmed. Citizens of the iron range were last night hurrying for shelter at Carlton, and fires were blazing at the Morton location, Keewatin and other towns. Grand Rapids was reported on fire.

Five mills are all this is left in Cloquet of what was yesterday a city of 9,000 persons with varied business interests and many beautiful homes. The homes are a smouldering ruin, every residence being burned, but warning of the approaching fire came in time to allow the people of the town to depart.

Pitiful Search For Relatives

Moose Lake, October 15 - The death list in the Moose Lake-Kettle River district has been estimated as high as 400 by those investigating conditions.

Along the roads were found the bodies of mothers with babies clasped to their lifeless breasts and children clinging together.

Through the yellow pall of pine smoke that hung low over the ruins of Moose Lake, frightened mothers, carrying thinly clad children in arms and with others tied to their apron strings to guard against separation, conducted a frantic and often hopeless search for missing husbands and fathers.

Ban On Sightseers

St. Paul, October 15 - No "rubberneck caravans" will be permitted to traverse the fireswept areas of Northern Minnesota, it was announced at the adjutant general's office. The mandate was issued at the capitol following an appeal by relief workers that persons outside the stricke area, unless on special missions, refrain from interfering the the relief work, as relief agencies now being organized have their hands full in caring for refugees.


St. Paul, October 15 - Governor Burnquist, accompanied by Mrs. Burnquist, left for Moose Lake, where he took charge of relief work and investigated the extent of the disaster and will order financial aid. Mrs. Burnquist will also aid the women of the stricken district as much as possible.

Governor Burnquist cancelled all his speaking dates and said that he will decide whether financial assistance, which must be given, will come through an appropriation by the calamity board of the state or by public subscription.

The calamity board, composed of the Governor, state treasurer and state auditor, has power to make an appropriation of state funds for relief work in such a disaster, he said, and this course may be taken.

Major W.G. Garis, chief of staff in Adjutant General Rhinow's office, ordered out the National Guard companies from St. Cloud, Ironton and other cities in proximity to the devastated area. Word came to him that fires were threatening Kimberly, Tammarack and other places just east of Aitkin. The fires at Kimberly and Tamarak were extinguished but a message from Ironton said they had broken out again.

300 Coffins For Moose Lake

General Rhinow at Moose Lake wired Major Garis for 300 coffins to be sent at once to that city, mostly for grown persons, the requisition message said, and most of these were dispatched from St. Paul and cities near the scene of the disaster.

Pine County Farms Destroyed

Bruno, October 15 - Bruno, Pine County, untouched by the fire, reports thirty farmers near there had lost everything they had and their families are in need. The flames completely devastated large areas near the village. Kerrick, in Pine County, ws slightly touched by the fire, two houses being destroyed, but the farms in that vicinity were also heavy sufferers. One women near that place lost her life and several were severely burned and may die.

Chisholm Almost Out Of Danger

Chisholm, October 15 - Unless the wind shifts, Chisholm is out of danger. Fires approached the city from the south, but are under control. A large force of men are at work and confident that Chisholm will be saved.

Fires Burning In Itasca County

Merrified, October 15 - Scattered fires are burning along the Minnesota and International railroad from Merrifield to Big Falls. No casualties are reported.