Although a work of fiction, James Michener's Hawaii gives us some insight into the plague and the fires which swept through Chinatown.
"A cordon was thrown around Chinatown and no one inside the area was allowed to move out. Churches and schools were suspended and no groups assembled. Ships were asked to move to other harbors and life in the city ground to a slow, painful halt. It was a terrible Christmas, that last one of the nineteenth century, and there was no celebration when the new year and the new century dawned.
"During Christmas week the fires started. Dr. Whipple and his team showed the firemen where deaths had occurred, and after precautions were taken, those houses were burned. Chinatown was divided roughly into the business areas towards the ocean and the crowded living areas towards the mountains, and although the plague had started in the former area, it now seemed concentrated in the closely packed homes. Therefore, the doctors recommended that an entire section be eliminated, and the government agreed, for by burning this swath across the city, a barrier would be cut between the two areas."