Stearns Wharf Fire of 1998

Stearns Wharf fire

Just before 10pm on the evening of Wednesday, November 18, we heard a report on our scanner that a fire had been reported on Stearns Wharf near the Moby Dick Restaurant. Immediately a four alarm fire was declared and every firefighter in the city responded. We turned on the local TV news and saw the huge fire burning furiously. The whole wharf is made of wood and the planks are soaked in creosote which acts as a wood preservative. Unfortunately creosote is also highly flammable.

Well we thought the wharf was a goner. But the firemen put on oxygen masks and drove their fire trucks right onto the burning wharf to the edge of the fire. Then armed with chainsaws they cut out a section of the wharf between them and the fire, and there they made a stand with a gap between them and the fire.

The next morning we saw that their strategy and tremendous efforts had worked. The Harbor Restaurant and gift shops were saved. Lost were the Moby Dick restaurant and two other businesses. The mayor immediately declared without hesitation that we would promptly rebuild the wharf as fast as possible.

Come to Stearns Wharf and buy some post cards!