The fire was caused by the overturning of a glue pot in Jim McGough’s paint shop, under Smith’s boot and shoe store, at the corner of Front and Madison streets in what was known as the Denny block. – Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 7, 1889.
The one who caused the conflagration is a Swede named Berg. He threw a bucket of water over a burning glue pot on the stove, which spread the flames at once. – Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 21, 1889
The chance incendiary who caused the recent disaster by fire was interviewed yesterday by a Post-Intelligencer representative who found him at work on a new building at the corner of Third and Jackson streets. His name is John E. Back… – Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 22, 1889
It could be me, it might be you,
But after smoke had settled fire,
It’s not McGough! It’s not McGough!
Please send the news by coach and wire!
The pot was there, the glue was hot
But after tears and other water,
The Swedes were there, but Berg was not!
Please correct with ink and blotter –
It’s wrong again? A lack? Alack!
Because when text is set and drying,
You must go back and say it’s Back!
Lest truth be typed to mean it’s lying.
So step from smoke and stomp out myths –
(Unless the shoe that’s used is Smith’s!).