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Experiences of Engine Company No. 20
Filbert Street, between Webster and Fillmore


I respectfully submit my report of the working of Eng. Co. No. 20, on the morning of the Earthquake the 18th of April until April 21st. On looking out the window the morning of the Earthquake discovered the Gas house and the Power house of the United R.R. in ruins, responded at once and reported to foreman of both places and was told there was nobody in the ruins.

Returned to quarters, and received information by messenger on horse-back that there was a fire at Bay and Kearny St., responded, and on arriving at Sulphur Works, received word from hydrant-man William Eaverson that they needed all the Companies in Town, responded along Battery, Front and Davis, and could not get any water. Went to Washington St. dock and took suction from bay; ran two lines from Engine and two lines from Steamer at docks, worked for five hours. Got orders to go to Pacific and Sansome St. to Cistern, went to work on Mill at Pacific and Battery, and on Liquor houses on Battery above Pacific. While working in liquor house explosion occurred, in rear of Building and walls caved in injuring G.[Gabriel] Woods hoseman. Also had second line down Sansome Street to Engine Co. No. 4 of Oakland Department which was playing stream around Appraisers' Building, and up Washington Street.

Water gave out about 4 p.m. Battalion Chief McClusky gave orders to go to Washington and Dupont and take Cistern. Led line down Washington to Engine No. 5 of the Oakland Department, and played stream on fire around Hall of Justice and on Montgomery Block building at Montgomery and Washington. About 1 a.m. on the morning of the 19th the Oakland Engine broke down and was replaced by Engine Co. No. 31 of S.F.F.D. About 3 a.m. ran second line from Engine south on Dupont Street but later was driven out by fire.

About 9 a.m on the morning of the 19th Acting Chief Dougherty gave orders to go [to] Van Ness Ave. On arriving at Larkin and Post, and finding the fire had not crossed Leavenworth St., connected Engine to hydrant at Post and Leavenworth and got water. Led off two streams and worked for some time, when we [were] ordered to Van Ness Ave. and Post Street on account of Dynamiting at Van Ness Avenue and Post Street.

Took hydrant at Post and Van Ness Ave. and led line down Post Street below Polk and worked until water gave out and the Boiler became foul. Took Engine to Gough and Bush and washed out Boiler. Later took position at Green and Franklin and received water from Engine Co. No. 3 at Gough and Green Street and worked from that position from the night of the 19th until the evening of [the] 20th., along Van Ness Avenue from Broadway to Filbert at 5 p.m. on the evening of the 20th the water gave out.

Received orders to go to Fort Mason and connect line to Government tug and worked until the morning of the 21st when the fire was got under control. Returned to quarters at 12 N on the 21st of April.

Respectfully Submitted
H. Mitchell, Capt.
Engine Co. 20
May 14th 1906

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