John Blair and the great Hinckley fire /

Tells how a brave African American porter helped save many lives when the train on which he was working was caught up in the horrendous firestorm near Hinckley, Minnesota, in 1894.

Main Author: Nobisso, Josephine.
Other Authors: Rose, Ted, (Illustrator)
Language: English
Published: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Subjects:
Format: Printed Book Book Nonfiction
Summary: Tells how a brave African American porter helped save many lives when the train on which he was working was caught up in the horrendous firestorm near Hinckley, Minnesota, in 1894.
No one who boarded the Limited No. 4 train on the morning of September 1, 1894, anticipated disaster down the tracks, but by three o'clock in the afternoon, the sky was as black as night and everyone knew something was wrong. Soon burning trees lined either side of the tracks, illuminating the smoky sky like gigantic torches. With fire ahead and fire behind, how would the passengers escape? Amid the flames of the most devastating firestorm in U.S. history, the train's porter, John Wesley Blair, acted with courage and compassion throughout that terrible day. Here, finally, is the untold story of a hero whom history almost forgot. A brief mention of the Hinckley fire in a nature magazine inspired Joi Nobisso to find out more about this awesome event. After several years of research, she uncovered the tale of John Blair's bravery and knew she had to tell his story. - Publisher.
This poignant picture book tells the story of John Wesley Blair, a brave African-American train porter, who used his courage and kindness to help people survive a terrible firestorm near Hinkley, Minnesota in 1894. On the ill-fated September morning, ominous clouds of smoke filled the sky surrounding the train station, where The Limited, Train No. 4 was waiting for passengers to board. When the locomotive was ready, it proceeded down the tracks and soon encountered heavy smoke and blazing flames. Unbelievably, the conductor sped forward and everyone onboard safely escaped the damaging fires. As the train chugged along, its crew and passengers came across hundreds of burned and exhausted people from nearby towns, who were looking for someone to rescue them from the devastating inferno that engulfed the area straight down the tracks. After the new passengers crowded into the train's cars, the engineer reversed directions and headed back, but soon, a fireball engulfed the train and sent smoke and fire everywhere. John instructed everyone to get down, used the fire extinguisher to douse passengers' clothing and distributed water and wet towels. When the train finally reached the swamp area, the passengers jumped into the stagnant water and stayed there until the wind-borne blazes diminished. This amazing tale springs to life with Nobisso's descriptive passages and Rose's expressive watercolor paintings. Perfect for multicultural or historical studies in elementary classrooms, this almost forgotten story will introduce young readers to a remarkably courageous African-American hero. - Children's Literature.
Physical Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 27 cm.
Awards: Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA) winner, 2000.
ISBN: 0618015604