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Immediately after the earthquake of April 18th, 1906, we answered a still alarm at 15th and Dolores streets. The door of our engine house [at 16th and Albion streets] was jammed through effects of the quake, and the fire alarm system was out of order, consequently we had to use our own judgment as to the best way to proceed. Seeing smoke arising from the direction of Hayes Valley we continued our journey until we reached the fire then burning in that district. While in this vicinity we had occasion to try the hydrant at Buchanan and Golden Gate Ave., but as no water could be found I reported to Battalion Chief Waters, who ordered us back to quarters.

We afterwards assisted in extricating the dead from the Valencia Hotel ruins, and were able to remove eight bodies. Later in the day we again left for Hayes Valley, and then returned to 17th and Howard [now Van Ness Ave., South] streets [on April 19th], where we assisted in pumping water from the broken water main at this point. The company then worked up Howard St., from 15th to above 18th St., under orders of Battalion chiefs McKittrick, Conlon and Waters. After a consultation between Battalion Chiefs McKittrick and Conlon I left for 20th and Church streets, with a wagon load of hose. I found water at this point, and also at 21st and Dolores streets. I then returned for two more loads of hose, and in connections with Engines No. 27 and 19 we had sufficient hose to fight the fire down the north side of 20th St. to Mission St., where the fire was extinguished on the morning of April 20th at about 10 a.m.

Our operations in this district were under the supervision of Battalion Chief Maxwell, and due to the fact that we were able to obtain a supply of water we were able to stop the fire from crossing 20th St., and destroying the complete Mission district.

Return to 1906 Earthquake and Fire Report.
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