Turning Into Ash

by The Brothers Burn

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All songs composed, arranged, and performed by Isaac and Horace Burns.
Recorded, produced, engineered, mixed, and pimped by Scott Osborn.
Thanks to LibriVox's Kathleen Nelson for her narration of Chapter 2, "The Demon of Fire Invades the Stricken City" from "The San Francisco Calamity by Earthquake and Fire", written by Charles Morris and published by The J. C. Winston Co. in 1906.
Copyright 2011 The Brothers Burn

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released September 30, 2011

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The Brothers Burn Austin

By sheerest accident, the producer discovered the brothers at the grocery store in the wee hours of the morning, helping themselves to the grapes in the produce section. Hopefully you can look past the court's commitment judgment and the obsessive concern about "Mother", and experience the brother's music for what it is. ... more

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Track Name: The Demon of Fire Invades the Stricken City
The Demon of Fire Invades the Stricken City

The terrors of the earthquake are momentary. One fierce, levelling shock and usually all is over.

The torment within the earth has passed on and the awakened forces of the earth's crust sink into rest again, after having shaken the surface for many leagues. Rarely does the dread agent of ruin leave behind it such a terrible follower to complete its work as was the case in the doomed city of San Francisco.

The Demon of Fire Invades the Stricken City

The city resembled one vast blazing furnace.

The demon of fire followed close upon the heels of the unseen fiend of the earth's hidden caverns, and ran red-handed through the metropolis of the West, kindling a thousand unhurt buildings, while the horror-stricken people stood aghast in terror, as helpless to combat this new enemy as they were to check the ravages of the earthquake itself.

The situation of the people was a maddening one. They were forced helplessly and hopelessly to gaze upon the destruction of their all, and it is no marvel if many of them grew frantic and lost their reason at the sight.

Thousands gathered and looked on in blank and pitiful misery, their strong hands, their iron wills of no avail, while the red-lipped fire devoured the hopes of their lives.

The city resembled one vast blazing furnace.

In a dozen, a hundred, places the flames shot up redly. Huge, strong buildings which the earthquake had spared fell an unresisting prey to the flames.

All day Wednesday the fire spread unchecked, all efforts to stay its devouring fury proving futile.

In the business section of the city everything was in ruins. Not a business house was left standing. Theatres crumbled into smouldering heaps. Factories and commission houses sank to red ruin before the devouring flames. The scene was like that of ancient Babylon in its fall, or old Rome when set on fire by Nero's command, as tradition tells.

When night fell and the sun withdrew his beams the spectacle was one at once magnificent and awe-inspiring. The city resembled one vast blazing furnace.

The flames could be seen ascending skyward for miles upon miles, while in the midst of the red spirals of flame could be seen at intervals the black skeletons and falling towers of doomed buildings.
Track Name: The Demon of Fire Invades the Stricken City, Part II
The Demon of Fire Invades the Stricken City

Rarely, in the whole history of mankind, has a great city been overwhelmed by destruction so suddenly and awfully as was San Francisco.

The roar of destruction filled the air as the solid crust of the earth lifted and fell and the rocks rose and sank in billowing waves like those of the open sea.

Wednesday's conflagration continued unabated throughout Thursday, and it was not until late on Friday that the fire-fighters got it safely under control.

They worked like heroes, struggling almost without rest, keeping up the nearly hopeless conflict until they fairly fell in their tracks from fatigue.

Handicapped by the lack of water, they in one case brought it from the bay through lines of hose well on to a mile in length.

Yet despite all they could do block after block of San Francisco's greatest buildings succumbed to the flames and sank in red ruin before their eyes.

For three long days the terrible fire fiend kept up his work, and the fight went on until late on Friday, when the sweep of the flames was at length checked and the fire brought under control. The principal agent in this victory was dynamite, which was freely used.

The magnitude of the calamity became fully apparent after the sun had risen and began to shine warmly and brightly from the east over the ruined city.

Where once rose noble buildings were now to be seen cracked and tottering walls, fallen chimneys, here and there fallen heaps of brick and mortar, and out of and above all the red light of the mounting flames.

From the middle of the city's greatest thoroughfare ruin, only ruin, was to be seen on all sides.

Devastation spread widely on all sides, ruining the homes of the rich as well as of the poor, of Americans as well as of Europeans and Asiatics, the marts of trade, the haunts of pleasure, the realms of science and art, the resorts of thousands of the gay population of the Golden State metropolis.