East Nashville, TN Residential Section Fire, Mar 1916
FIRE WIPES OUT NASHVILLE HOMES.
FLAMES, CARRIED BY GALE, DESTROY 35 BLOCKS IN TENNESSEE CITY.
Nashville, Tenn., March 22. -- A ball of yarn, lighted and thrown by a boy into dry grass in a vacant lot, started a fire in East Nashville at noon today which was not under control until late this afternoon, after thirty-five residence blocks had been swept by the flames. The loss is estimated at $1,500,000.
A twisting, rolling wind, driving at fifty miles an hour, fanned the burning grass into a torrent of flames which quickly caught a planing mill and leaped from building to building until at least six hundred residences had been destroyed, the East Nashville sub-postoffice burned down and the big Warner public school and several churches reduced to ruins.
Tonight it is estimated that at least 3,000 persons are homeless.
National guardsmen called out by Governor Rye went on duty in the fire zone late this afternoon, and will remain there for several days to aid in relief work and prevent looting.
East Nashville is largely a residence section and many of the homes there are frame. Over brick and frame alike, however, the flames swept like an avalanche. The home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, an institution for the aged, was one of the first buildings to go. The occupants were rescued without injury.
The Tulip Street Methodist Episcopal Church and the Edgefield Baptist Church soon met the same fate.
Every available wagon and automobile was sent to help homeless families move their property to places of safety.
New York Tribune New York 1916-03-23