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February 15, 2018



Remember When, Feb. 15, 1968, 50 Years Ago

Firemen Douse Snack Bar Fire

Quick and efficient action by the Thompson Falls Volunteer Fire Dept. early Friday morning saved the Ledger building and prevented total destruction of the Snack Bar’s equipment.

The fire was discovered by Mrs. Richard Sanders about 5:45 a.m. when she prepared to open the café and found the building filled with smoke. She rushed to the sheriff’s office to call for help.

The dense smoke at first hindered the firemen in locating the flames which by that time had spread to the ceiling in the office of the Ledger. Firemen had to tear down parts of the ceiling in both the Ledger and Snack Bar to reach the main blaze.

The ceiling, walls and floor, as well as much of the equipment of the café is either being replaced or extensively repaired this week. Damage in the Ledger was minimal and mainly smoke caused.

The fire is believed to have resulted from an electrical malfunction in the vicinity of the grill and deep fat fryer.

Both the Snack Bar and Ledger losses are covered by insurance.

Ledger Lines

The recent note about a 1909 bill for livery services from D. Preston to D.V. Herriott given us by Pete Preston stirred memories for former Thompson Falls postmaster A.J. Dorris, who now resides in Post Falls, Ida. Albert sent a bill from the Woodlin Saw Mill owned by Jos. Grandchamp & son near the former Harold Berkey ranch east of town. The bill was for lumber sold April 4, 1890 to W.F. Laitton, Mr. Dorris’ father-in-law. The prices paid for lumber at that time are interesting. Some examples: 145 feet of 1x7, 1x4 and 2x6 surfaced boards cost $2.90; 200 feet of flooring was billed at $4 and 3,270 feet of dimension, rough boards, sheeting and battens was billed at $34.33.

Fire Chief Chuck Applegate and his men certainly are to be commended for their work. Particularly gratifying is the minimal damage resulting from water because of the care and concern they displayed. In the Ledger office, they hardly got a piece of paper wet, because they either removed or covered with rubber sheets items before attacking the fire in the ceiling with a fog-spray.

There is no question, the Ledger’s loss could have been tragic and the Snack Bar’s loss could have been complete if it had not been for their fine work. Thanks a million, again.

Gene Thompson, deputy assistant state fire marshal from Kalispell, had high praise for the Thompson Falls Volunteer Fire Dept. Called here by Fire Chief Chuck Applegate to investigate the causes of the Snack Bar and Larsons and Greens fires, Thompson told us, “You people have a very good and efficient fire department here.”

He was particularly impressed with the manner in which Applegate and his boys extinguished the fire in the Snack Bar and Ledger office in that damage from water was kept at a minimum. With the large fire, he noted that the firemen’s efforts confined the fire and kept it from spreading.

Thompson pointed out that Larsons and Greens store became super-heated and that gasses from several different sources of fuel-paint and other materials-created a condition that once flames broke out and got oxygen there was no possibility of saving the structure. The fire spread throughout the building in a matter of minutes.

When you need help Thompson Falls folks are there to help. That certainly was the case Wednesday morning when Chief Applegate ordered the Ledger and Post Office evacuated. Volunteers jumped in and quickly and efficiently moved equipment and supplies from both places and Motors Garage as well.

Attempts to adequately express the thanks of all of us to all of you are inadequate. Everyone was wonderful. Thanks with all our heart.

 

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