Thankfully, it began in the afternoon, or there is a great chance that all might have been lost. As it was, the fire that burned through the east side of the Comanche square on August 14, 1912, did $50,000.00 worth of damage. Today, that fifty thousand would equal $1,250,000.00.
The fire began on the second floor of the building located about where the Stone Eagle Courtyard will be located in just a few months. Of course, M.W.’s Carroll’s Drugstore was below. In the back of the Drugstore was the Express Office, and it was over it that the fire began.
Going south down the block from Carroll’s was an empty building, then Hoff and Harris Bottling Works, Alexander’s Grocery Store, and the Silver Moon Restaurant. These were the buildings affected by the fire on the bottom floor of the east side of the square, with the Silver Moon receiving the least damage. The telephone exchange building was in there somewhere, but I am not sure where.
On the top floor on the north end of the square was an unoccupied building, then the Opera House, and the Knights of Pythias building. Apparently, the building where the fire began was filled with rooms that held costumes for the Opera House and in 1912, these would have been very flammable. It was supposed that some young boys had sneaked upstairs and were careless while smoking.
The Knights of Pythias building was the second hardest hit with $10,000.00 in damages, including the complete loss of a newly purchase player piano.