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WICHITA, KS: SEPT. 27, 1911 – A fire broke out in a broom-corn stalk house on East Douglas at about midnight. The Wichita Fire Department arrived on scene and began battling the blaze. About an hour into the operation, a brick wall collapsed, killing Fireman W.C. McFall and injuring five others.
AUSTIN, PA: SEPT. 30, 1911 – After two weeks of heavy rain, the huge dam of the Bayless Pulp and Paper Co. failed, sending more than 400 million gallons of water rushing down the valley toward the small town of Austin 1½ miles away. The wall of water crashed into the business section of town so quickly most people had no chance to flee to higher ground. Many of the town’s buildings were constructed of wood, and those that were not immediately destroyed by the torrent were soon in flames. It was estimated that 1,000 buildings were destroyed by the flood and fire. Close to one-third of the town’s 3,200 residents were killed by the devastating flood and fire. Farther down the valley, little Costello, a town of 450 people, was also swept away.