In 1974, fire ravaged Main

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In 1974, fire ravaged Main

Two men killed will be commemorated Sunday downtown

In 1974, a fire on Main Avenue destroyed six historic buildings in the middle of the 800 block and killed two young first responders who were trying to save others.

If you go

The 40th anniversary memorial service for Durango firefighter Nick Parks III and Durango Police Cpl. Gale Emerson will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday in the 800 block of Main Ave.
The service will include a presentation of colors by a joint honor guard of the Durango Fire Protection District and the Durango Police Department as well as a placing of wreaths at the location of the fire, which took place where the Main Mall now stands. A drum and bagpipe corps will perform, and survivors will tell the history of one of Durango’s most tragic events.
Main Avenue will be closed between Eighth and Ninth streets beginning at 7 a.m. They will reopen after the service concludes.

In 1974, fire ravaged Main

At 9:15 a.m. Aug. 24, 1974, onlookers at the intersection of Main Avenue and Ninth Street watch as firefighters battle the blaze that killed Durango firefighter Nick Parks III and police Cpl. Gale Emerson and destroyed most of the western 800 block of Main Avenue. Amateur historian and photographer Helen Nossaman tracked the progress of the fire.
At 8:30 a.m. Aug. 24, 1974, amateur historian and photographer Helen Nossaman shot this photo from Cemetery Road overlooking downtown Durango. Firefighters had been fighting the fire in the 800 block of Main Avenue for more than four hours at the time, and they would be working on the fire the rest of the day.
Emerson
Parks
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