The Southern Pacific Hospital, at Fourteenth and Missouri Streets, was among the buildings destroyed by dynamite, the patients having been removed to places of safety, and the Linda Vista and the Pleasanton, two large family hotels on Jones Street, in the better part of the city, were also among those blown up to stay the progress of the conflagration.
The fire had continued to creep onward and upward until it reached the summit of Nob Hill, a district of splendid residences, and threatened the handsome Fairmount Hotel, then the headquarters of the Municipal Council, acting as a Committee of Public Safety. As day broke the flames seized upon this beautiful structure, and the Council was forced to retreat to new quarters. They finally met in the North End Police Station, on Sacramento Street, and there entered actively upon their duties of seeking to check the progress of the flames, maintain order in the city and control and direct the host of fugitives, many of whom, still in a state of semi-panic, were moving helplessly to and fro and sadly needed wise counsels and a helping hand.
The fire-fighters meanwhile kept up their indefatigable work under the direction of the Mayor and the chief of their department. The engines almost from the start had proved useless from lack of water, and were either abandoned or moved to the outlying districts, in the vain hope that the water mains might be repaired in time to permit of a final stand against the whirlwind march of the flames. The cloud of despair grew darker still as the report spread that the city’s supply of dynamite had given out.
“No more dynamite! No more dynamite!” screamed a fireman as he ran up Ellis Street past the doomed Flood building at two o’clock on Friday morning, tears standing in his smoke-smirched eyes.
“No more dynamite! O God! no more dynamite! We are lost!” moaned the throng that heard his despairing words.
So, at that hour, the supply of the explosive exhausted, and not a dozen streams of water being thrown in the entire fire zone, the stunned firemen and the stupefied people stood helpless with their eyes fixed in despair upon the swiftly creeping flames.