On April 25 and April 29 in 1896, in a small city called Cripple Creek, Colorado, two separate conflagrations destroyed over 80 percent of the city and created $2 million worth of damage. Cripple Creek sits at the base of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains. Until 1890, Cripple Creek was a small gold mining camp of a few hundred people. However, when a prospector struck gold, the town’s population increased to 16,000 within just a few years.
From March 1970 Fire Journal, page 34: “Chaos during the first Cripple Creek conflagration, as merchants trying to save their valuables joined the curious and the panic-stricken thronging the streets. FROM THE COLLECTION OF FRED AND JIO MAZZULLA.”