An emergency dispatcher dismissed the first 9-1-1 call to report a fire that eventually destroyed historic Fort Clatsop, a newspaper said today. The Daily Astorian reported that a woman who called 9-1-1 shortly after 10 p.m. on Oct. 3 to alert dispatchers to what appeared to be a fire on the south side of Youngs Bay was told that what she was seeing was likely just the play of light in the rain and fog.

Not until a second call came several minutes later to a different dispatcher at the Astoria Police emergency communications center were local firefighters alerted to the blaze, which gutted the 50-year-old replica of the fort where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped in 1805 after their famed expedition finally reached the Pacific Ocean.

The fort was going to be the centerpiece of an event marking the bicentennial of the expedition.

Lewis and Clark Fire District Chief Ian O'Connor obtained a tape recording of the 9-1-1 calls and provided it to The Daily Astorian.

"It's quite disturbing to listen to," O'Connor said.

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