November 2. 1917
Merced County Sun
DESMOND MANAGER SEVERELY BURNED
IN THE HOTEL FIRE
( From Monday's Daily )
F. E. Farrow, manager of the Desmond Park Service company in
Yosemite, was brought here yesterday from El Portal, and taken to a San
Francisco hospital to be treated for severe burns received while fighting
the fire which destroyed the $100,000 Hotel Del Portal at El Portal last
Friday. He was burned about the hands and face, and it is believed likely
that skin grafting will be necessary.
Farrow, Manager, W. M. Sell, Jr., of the Sentinel hotel, and Forest Ranger
Townsley were fighting the fire in the upper part of the building - Farrow
being on the top floor, Townsley on the roof, and Sell in the attic. They
thought they had the fire under control when the cry from below warned
them to leave the building. They immediately went to the fire escape.
Farrow, the last to go down, was burned painfully.
The first detailed account of the fire was told today after the arrival of
General Manager 0. W. Lehmer and J. H. Ellis of the Yosemite Valley
railroad, who visited the ruins on Saturday. The fire caught in the attic in
the wing over the kitchen. The flame was first seen issuing from the roof
at about 3:45 o'clock. Farrow, Sell and Townsley with a crew of men
hastened from Yosemite to aid the El Portal band in fighting the flame, but
the fire made too fast headway. The blaze traveled from the roof down the
wall to the cellar, and the situation then was hopeless. The hotel was
burned completely. Furniture which had been carried outdoors also
burned, being too near the fire. The cottage of Robert Monner nearby was
destroyed, but part of the furniture was saved.
Manager Lehmer of the Yosemite Valley railroad left for San Francisco
today to attend a meeting at which details regarding the new hotel to be
built at El Portal will be discussed. He gave the opinion that a hotel of
about forty rooms, with modern furnishings and an attractive lunch
counter may be built.