"We opened the door, and there stood an elderly man almost exhausted and scarcely able to speak. He had run through the brush at first, then struck our road which he mistook for the Humptulips road, and had fled barely ahead of the fire. He was famished for water. I don't know who he was, but if he hadn't warned us we would have lost our lives.
Sparks and chunks of fire were falling all around the buildings. Walter said for me to gather up what I wanted to take with me, and quickly. I picked out a few clothes, but didn't think of a box that contained his father's gold watch and chain and other expensive jewelry.
All of our groceries and camp supplies were hauled in by team, then had to be packed to our lower camp. Before leaving, Walter and the men carried some supplies - overalls, jackets, blankets, and some large tins of tobacco - from the commissary and piled them on the ground in an open space about sixty feet long between the cookhouse and the cabins. Then he laid his bicycle on top. The idea was that if the fire jumped over the clearing, these articles might be saved.
Our camp employed about fifty men, but part of the crew had gone to town. There were only twenty-eight men in camp, working on a big splash dam. Fortunately we had the camp team and several line-horses, and three lanterns.
Led by one man on horseback we started out in the night, and by the light of the lanterns made our way over a pack trail to our lower camp some three or four miles away.
We had a young man in camp whose wife was living there with him. She had returned from the hospital only a few days before the fire. We tried to get her to ride one of the horses, but she was too frightened, and wanted to stay with her husband. So, she walked to the lower camp. But, even there she was so afraid that she insisted on walking still farther to the railroad where she took a train for Hoquiam. The shock and over-exertion put her in the hospital for three more weeks.
When we returned to our campsite a few days later there wasn't a building standing. But the pile of goods on the ground looked all right. Walter was pleased. However, when he touched his bicycle it fell apart. So did the big tobacco cans. The fire had not burned them, but the intense head had disintegrated the metal."