Immediately after the earthquake which occurred at 5:15 a.m. April 18th we left our quarters and rescued a women from the ruins of a house at Howard [now South Van Ness Ave.] and Erie. There were also a couple of parties killed in this place through the effects of the earthquake. From here we went to Twenty-second and Mission streets where a fire was raging for half a block. This fire was confined to this district and extinguished after a hard fight, with an inadequate supply of water. Our next move was to the Valencia Hotel, on Valencia and Seventeenth streets, where we aided in extricating the dead and wounded from the ruins of the this hotel; a number of persons were killed in his hostelry from effects of the earthquake and it was with great difficulty that a number of the wounded and dead were extricated.

After this we were ordered to fight the fire which was then raging in the vicinity of Hayes and Gough streets, but by the time we reached there two complete blocks were on fire. After a long hard fight we found that we were making very little headway owing to the scarcity of water; the fire was spreading rapidly in all directions and in a last effort to check the spreading of the flames dynamite was used.

By order of Chief Shaughnessy, and under the direction of some official from the powder works considerable dynamiting was done in the vicinity of Franklin and Van Ness Ave., on Hayes St. They also used dynamite in the neighborhood of 11th and Mission streets. By the time the use of this explosive a number of buildings were raised to the ground, but as we were under the leadership of a competent person (one who was used to the handling of high grade explosives) very little damage was done to the properties which joined those we dynamited. This dynamiting occurred on Wednesday P.M. April 18th.

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