Looking back: Structure fires, trick rider, trapshooting

September 13, 2016 GMT

From the Daily Record Archives:

15 years ago

Separate fires ravaged two structures Wednesday and Thursday morning, leaving one man homeless and an Ellensburg businessman’s shop destroyed.

They were the second and third fires in three days. On Tuesday, a fire destroyed a Camas Lane home. There have been three fires in a row.

Arriving on scene, firefighters found a completely engulfed structure with fire “rolling out of the building with flames at least 10 feet high,” Ellensburg Fire Department Lt. Keith Axthelm said.

“Our first order of business was to protect the exposures,” Axthelm said of a nearby garage and mobile home. “We managed to save two vehicles and a fuel tank.”

As the fire progressed, fighting leaking propane tanks and oil fires, more than 20 firefighters stood their ground in an attempt to douse the stubborn fire. Axthelm said an Aer-Ex employee used a front end loader to dismantle the remainder of the building so fire crews could finish putting out hot spots.

The second fire ignited around 5:30 a.m., a smoke detector is being credited with saving an Ellensburg man’s life.

Chief Stan Baker, Kittitas County Fire District No. 2 said a mid-1970s doublewide mobile home belonging to Wade Ricard was a complete loss due to the intensity of the fire that ripped through the Wilson Creek Road residence this morning.

Richard was in bed when the smoke detector sounded, jarring him awake.

This was the third fire this week that had leveled a structure. No injuries were sustained in any of the fires, no damages estimates were available.

— Sept. 13, 2001

30 years ago

The Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce board authorized its new president to talk to city of Ellensburg officials about possibility of the chamber managing the Hal Holmes Center.

President Bob Jackson and board members will ask to visit with city officials to see if there is a mutual interest in such arrangement.

The center presently is running at a deficit with little paid use, it was noted during the chamber discussion. The chamber often has requests for meeting rooms that could be accommodated at the center, but since it is only open in limited hours now, scheduling has proved difficult.

— Sept. 12, 1986

50 years ago

A Thorp resident well known for her trick riding in the Ellensburg Rodeo and the all-girl riding circuit in the Northwest, was teamed up with an unusual companion this past summer.

Kathy Berger, 26, rode an elephant for nearly three weeks at both the Portland Boat and Trade Show and at the Vancouver Boat Show. “The reason I was picked was because of my trick horse riding,” said Kathy, who returned recently to her home in Thorp. One of the big attractions at the Vancouver show was a weekly wash by the two show stars, Lisa the elephant and Henry the hippo. The pachyderm hosed down Henry for the enjoyment of nearby crowds. Kathy often became an active participant during the animal’s weekly baths.

’It was different,” said Kathy, who last performed in the Ellensburg Rodeo in 1964.

— Sept. 13, 1966

95 years ago

The free-for-all trapshooting meet under the direction of the Ellensburg Trapshooting club, which will be held at the range Sunday at 9 a.m., is creating much enthusiasm among the shooters. According to Kenneth Reynolds, the interest is much keener than if the prizes were money prizes instead of merchandise prizes as they are. The prizes will be 50 in number and will be donated by Ellensburg merchants. They range in variety all the way from neckties to picnic hams. The committee in charge of the shoot is Kenneth Reynolds, L.L. Scott, A. E. Mange and Charles Dickson. Visitors are expected from Roslyn and Cle Elum to participate in the meet.

— Sept. 13, 1921