[Apostle Wilford Woodruff ]
17th Left Detroit in the morning. Sail well through the day and evening untill 12 oclk at night a strong wind arose. The Lake was rough. The boat rocked badly and in the midst of it opposite the Cleveland lighthouse at midnight the cry of fire, fire, fire, was rung through the boat by the watch on duty.
We immediately leaped from our beds in our night Cloths and each one Caught a bucket the best he Could. I Caught a bucket about half full of water and run as I was barefoot to the stern of the boat looking for the fire while some was runing up stares I leaped into the engine room And saw the fire in one Cornor of the stern of the boat. I run over the pile of Coal and dashed my water into the fire which was not larger than a half bushel measure. At the same time a bucket of water flung by Capt Davis struck the fire and it was instantly extinguished.
Their is nothing more terrible or alarming than the cry of fire on board of a ship or steem boat at Sea or on any water out of reach of Land. It is far more terrible than a storm or wreck, for when fire gets the Control under such circumstances all hope is lost, and persons will plunge into the deep to escape its fury. But in this case the fire was out and the alarm over in the term of a minute.
On my return to the cabin I found one woman flung into convulsions with alarm. Mrs Woodruff was holding her in her arms. She did not get over it untill the next day.
[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]