Memorable Fires

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option
Date Location 
1864 American Hotel Destroyed
1897 The Grand Hotel
1906  1906 Earthquake
1935 Perry Feed & Fuel
1939 Pratt & Lowe
October 14, 1947 Red Feather Products
November 10, 1950 Johns Manville
May 25, 1951

Safeway Store

Danzier Sales

October 10, 1954 Holmquist Hardware
June 23, 1955 Kaiser Gypsum
August 5, 1957 Made Rite Container
August 17, 1960 Van Wey Tool & Die Company
August 16, 1963 Southern Pacific Freight Shed
January 28, 1966 Sequoia High School Boiler Room
June 14, 1968 Frank's Tannery
April 1, 1969 Biagi Furniture - Furniture Discount
April 4, 1969 Reynolds Moving and Storage
1970 L.D. & M. moving and Storage
February 3, 1979 Temple Beth Jacob
1979 Redwood Food Packing
Date Unknown Golden State Mushroom Company
June 2001

The Alhambra Theater (833 Main St.)

Independent Order of Odd Fellows (837 Main St.) 

April 2007 SIMS Metal Management
July 7, 2013

Hallmark House

(531 Woodside Rd.)

October 17, 2013

Terrace Apartments

(926 Woodside Rd.)

November 10, 2013 SIMS Metal Management
July 23, 2018 Carr Fire
November 8, 2018 Camp Fire

The Grand Hotel Fire of 1897

The Grand Hotel caught fire and burnt to the ground in 1897. After the debris was removed, the corner became a weekly site for concerts by the Redwood City Band for the next two years; much like the current concerts on Courthouse Square.

This is the site of the current Fitzpatrick Professional Center at 2000 Broadway. During the 1906 earthquake, its dome fell and landed in the street.

Grand Hotel

1906 Earthquake

The Redwood City Courthouse was severely damaged by the 1906 earthquake. It is now the site of today's Courthouse Square.

1906 Courthouse


Frank’s Tannery Fire June 14, 1968

From 1864–1959 Redwood City was home to numerous industries vital to the local and national economy, including tanning, the process of making leather. One of the largest tanneries in the world was the renowned S.H. Frank Tannery, which operated on Redwood Creek from 1874–1959. At its peak the tannery produced nearly 13 tons of leather each week. Tannins from red oak trees in the area enabled Frank’s tannery to produce “the strongest leather in the world.” By 1897 Frank’s Tannery became a large-scale industry with business contacts all over the world.

World War I took a toll on the tanning industry as mechanization took over. Frank’s was able to continue its success by developing a new product called “Logger’s Oak” that was used as a sturdy sole leather for boots. It had the ability to hold the seams of boots even when wet. The tanning industry began to see a decline after World War II as metal began to replace leather. Due to the decline in the industry’s growth, Frank’s closed its doors in 1959.

Tannery Fire

Spectators watch Frank's Tannery fire (1968). On the night of June 14, 1968, the abandoned buildings, all except for the brick chimney and water tower, burned to the ground. Firefighter Jim Serra, sailed the 1958 wooden fire boat up Redwood Creek to help fight this fire. This photograph was taken by Reginald McGovern.