Call of Cthulhu: Skullhouse
"Tragedy in Noe Valley"
3 Feb. 1914
Last night in San Francisco, fire struck a number of our cities leading citizens at their place of Christian worship.
This tragedy took place on a cul-de-sac at the end of 22nd Street, just west of Castro. The location is, or rather was, the Chapel of Contemplation, an institution in this city since Gold Rush Days. The sound of an explosion and what was believed to be gunfire aroused the neighborhood to what they at first believed was a police raid on anarchists or gangsters. This impression was supported, at first, by the fact that a number of policemen and detectives were found to be already upon the scene. The presence of the policemen seems to have been purely a matter of good fortune and the lawmen acquitted themselves heroically, pulling several dazed and injured victims from the blazing building.
Police Captain Conal O’Donough of the Homicide Squad and his men had been patrolling the neighborhood in accordance with Chief White’s new “prowl-car” tactic for dealing with the recent upsurge in criminal activity. The Captain himself happened to be riding along on this particular evening, in the company of Police Commissioner Cook, to demonstrate the new program. This bit of luck is credited with the salvation of a dozen persons, who might otherwise have perished.
In very short order, representatives of the gas company also arrived, and when the fire department reached the scene, they were ordered to contain the blaze rather than attempting to enter the structure as the cause of the initial explosions, erroneously reported as gunfire, was, in fact, a gas explosion, or rather a series of gas explosions.
Saved from the Inferno:
* Eric Ralston, socially prominent son of William Ralston, co-founder of the Palace Hotel.
* Algernon Hayward, heir to the Hayward Silver Legacy.
* Wyndom Schank, prominent mining engineer.
* Bradford Williams, son of Herbert Warren Williams, owner of H.W.W. Chandlery.
* John Ramsdale, cousin to M.H. de Young.
* Mortimer Grandry, owner of the San Francisco Bulletin.
* Jethro Cantrill, the department store millionaire
* Woodrow Van Sant, socialite and supporter of the Ballet.
Believed to have Perished:
The city must now mourn the loss of such local patrons of the arts as Gilbert Parsons, Manning Caulfield and Reginald Spode. A full enumeration of those lost in this tragedy must await confirmation of the identities of numerous victims burned beyond recognition.
It is, however, certain that among the dead are two local runaway children, who have been discovered to have secreted themselves in the basement of the Chapel. The children, so tragically lost, are Rose Macklin, aged 11, and Peter Quist, aged 9.