Springs Valley Herald, February 15, 1917

Opera House, Bowling Alleys, Hospital,
Bottling House And Hot Water Parlor,
Wiped Out By Fire, Sunday Evening

Loss is Probably $200,000

One of the biggest and most costly fires that has visited the Valley occurred early Sunday evening, when fire which originalated in the X-Ray room of the West Baden Hospital, wiped out the hospital, Opera House and Bowling Alleys, all frame structures which were all connected and the fire extended to the beautiful and costly hot water parlor over Spring No. 7 and the Bottling House which were considered fire-proof and they were totally destroyed, entailing a loss of about $200,00.
The zero weather which has been prevailing for two or three days had frozen the water plugs and one one small stream could be brought to bear on the convered way leading from the Theatre and Bowling Alleys to the Hotel and this was used to control the fire whichwas eating along the covered way to the Hotel.
There were no patients in the hospital at the time and there were no hair-breath escapes as published in the Indianapolis Star. There was but very little excitement amonh the huest or citizens as the mammoth hotel is absolutely fireproff and there was no possibility of damage to the main building except that a few windows might have been broken by heat had the covered way been allowed to burn up to the Hotel.
The French Lick fire fighters burried to the scene byt were inable to give any aid as the frame buildings were so far consumed that it was impossible to save them when they arrived if the water plugs had no been frozen.
The Vogel Minstrel troupe were billed for the Opera House for that evening and a very heavy sale of tickets is reported by Mr. Prow, manger of the Opera House. The show people were getting ready for the opening of the performance when the alarm was sounded. They saved all their scenery and etc.
It is lucky that the fire occurred before the theatre was filled with people as there might have been a panic with with serious results. The management refunded all money that had been paid for seats.
The beautiful building over Spring No. 7 which was also used as the hot water parlor and souvenir stand, which cost about $75,000 will of course be rebuilt.
Whether the hospital and theatre will be rebuilt we have not been informed. We do not know how mych insurance was on the property destroyed.