The new University boat house on Soldiers Field was completely destroyed by fire on Wednesday morning, December 27. The fire started in a small house close by where a workman, in warming some creosote shingle stain, caused it to explode and in a few minutes the boat house had caught fire. The explosion occurred at 8.45 a. m. and by 9.30 the building was entirely consumed. Three-fourths of the building had been completed, but the loss, estimated at $18,000, will be entirely covered by the insurance. The foundations and the piles were only slightly injured and, as soon as the settlement with the insurance company is completed, the work of reconstruction will be begun. The loss to the University rowing interests will be no more than a postponement of moving into the new quarters. In the meantime the crews will occupy their old quarters and the Newell Club will continue work as before.
The launch "Frank Thompson," which was drawn up beside the boat-house for the winter, was also burned. It was insured for its full cost of $6500. The hull was wholly burned, but some of the machinery may be used. Immediate steps were taken to secure a new boat which will probably be built by Lawley and finished by April 1. In the meantime a launch will be hired for the temporary use of the crews.