There was a fine start for a big fire yesterday a.m., in the store Charlie Linticum is fitting up. It was discovered in time to be extinguished, by the strenuous efforts of a few who were near at hand. It was caused by a defective flue. Had the fire had a few moments more of a start, the probabilities are that the whole row of wooden buildings in the block would have been destroyed.
Tuesday night and Wednesday, the wind blew here abouts fearfully. Two incipient fires were reported; one at the house of Dr. J.A. Walker, from a chimney over loaded with soot, and which taking fire, got so hot that for a while fears were entertained that it could not be subdued. The other at Mrs. Baltzells house, from a hot stove getting tipped over in an upper room. Both were however fortunately quelched, before they had got fairly under headway. The amusing incident of the latter fire, was the appearance of Kincaid loping across the square with a small Babcock strapped to his back. He looked like a big straddel bug.
Some ruffian on last Monday night removed the cattle guard, on the C. & A. R.R. near the residence of Jno. Goodale. The intention of the villain was evidently to wreck the down passenger train on Tuesday a.m., as he had placed the guard with one end propped against heavy timbers, and the other sticking up. The condition of the track was discovered by the night watchman on his regular nightly beat, and replaced in time to avoid a catastrophe.
On Sunday morning last, a freight train, running north on the C. & A. R.R., ran over a broken rail, just north of Greenview; the caboose, in which were the conductor and two brakemen, was thrown from the track and detached from the train, and was burned before water and assistance could be obtained. The occupants were not injured, but were scared so badly that their hair looked like porcupine quills. The engineer and twelve cars of cattle came on to Mason City before they discovered the loss of the caboose, and were obliged to side-track and go back after the lost sheep. Misfortunes never come singly, and the same train, on running into San Jose, ditched four cars of cattle, though there was no damage reported, excepting a stray porker killed.
The morning passenger train on the C. & A. R.R. was thrown from the track near Natrona, last Tuesday a.m., and the passenger and sleeping coaches ditched. The Engine, Baggage and smoking cars kept the track. The coaches after flying the track, ran several yards out on the prairie, smashing trucks of both coaches so badly that it was necessary to replace them with new trucks, before the wreck could be removed. The wrecking train was immediately summoned from Bloomington and the track cleared, after diligent labor of several hours. Luckily no one was hurt.