Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Burning Bridges

July 25, 1907
Arcadia, Calif.

Despite the efforts of 75 volunteer firefighters, a blaze rapidly consumed a 150-foot wooden bridge on Foothill Boulevard over the Santa Anita between Arcadia and Monrovia.

Although the firefighters had a chemical apparatus, “neither pump nor hose was available to make use of the water supply in an irrigation division box within a few feet of the bridge,” The Times said. “The draft up the canyon caused the flames to spread underneath the planking and trusses more rapidly than on top and rendered futile the most strenuous efforts of the fire brigade.”

Built by the county about 1897, the bridge became city property when Arcadia was incorporated in 1903 and thus it was up to Arcadia to rebuild it. The Times said a quick replacement was vital as there was no good alternative route to Monrovia and because Foothill Boulevard was the main thoroughfare to Pasadena and Los Angeles.



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