Lucky Escape of School Children and Teachers – The Loss Fully $25,000.

A disastrous fire occurred shortly after 1 o’clock this morning, which resulted in the utter destruction of the beautiful Russian church building at 1715 Powell street.

There is a school connected with the church for the instruction of children, and at the time there were some twenty-one boys sleeping in the building in addition to Bishop Vladimir and four priests employed as teachers.

Fortunately the teachers in charge discovered the fire before it reached any great headway, and as most of the children were in the first floor succeeded in hurrying them from the building before the flames invaded the sleeping apartments.

When the Fire Department reached the spot the entire building was wrapped in flames and it was only by great exertion that they were prevented from spreading to the adjoining buildings.

An effort was made to remove the church property, but owing to the intense heat in all parts of the building, but little was accomplished. In addition to the furniture and personal belongings of the inmates many valuable records and manuscripts were destroyed.

Nothing but the charred frame of the handsome three-story building was left standing.

The loss is estimated at $25,000, a small portion of which is covered by insurance.

Great credit is due to Bishop Vladimir for the presence of mind displayed in removing the children from the building and in directing the firemen about the premises to points where they might work to the best advantage.

The San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday, May 21, 1889