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The report of Captain Charles Murray of Engine Company No. 4 has not been found, however, Frederick J. Bowlen, a member of that company, briefly wrote of his experiences in the June 28, 1939 edition of "The Chronicle." He described the death of one of the firemen assigned to Truck Co. No. 1, which shared the Howard St. station with Engine Co. No. 4 and Chemical Engine No. 1.

"A Chinese laundry on the south side of Howard near Third [at Hawthorne St.] was one of the first to catch fire. It was across the street from No. 4 Engine, where I was stationed at the time. We had no water to fight with, and it soon got away from us. Hydrant after hydrant was tested without getting a drop.

"In our engine house, Fireman James O'Neil was engaged at the time of the quake in drawing a bucket of water for the horses. The brick wall of the four-story ... American Hotel, to the west of the engine house, crashed through our quarters and Fireman O'Neil was crushed and instantly killed."

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