Even in its earliest days, before the dawn of the 20th century, Butte had experienced tragedy.
Six men died in a fire in the Anaconda Mine on Nov. 23, 1889. Fire swept through the Silver Bow Mine on April 21, 1893, leaving nine dead.
But “Butte’s Night of Horror,” which occurred 125 years ago, was on an entirely different scale.
If you don’t know this particular annal in Butte’s history, here’s a brief synopsis:
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Jan. 15, 1895, fire broke out in the Mining City’s warehouse district, located just east of Arizona Street.
Butte’s firefighters were fighting the blaze, not realizing they were sitting on a powder keg — literally. An illegal amount of dynamite was being housed in these warehouses owned by the Kenyon-Connell Commercial Co., and the Butte Hardware Co.