Louisville, KY Warehouse Fire, Apr 1902

Fire in Paint and Varnish House there Inflicts Loss of $200,000.
Building and Contents are Entirely Destroyed
Walls Collapse in Short While, and Adjoining Buildings Soon are Ablaze--Cause of Fire Said to be Spontaneous Combustion.

Louisville, Ky, April 1.- Fire which broke out about 12:30 o'clock this afternoon destroyed the large warehouses of the Peaslee-Gaulbert Paint and Varnish Company at Fifteenth and Portland Avenue, causing a loss of about $200,000.

The entire fire department was called out to fight the flames, which made rapid headway owing to the oils, paints and other inflammable materials stored in the buildings. Within two hours after the alarm being turned in the warehouses and their contents had been entirely destroyed.

The buildings, which occupied an entire square, two of the being four stories high and the third three. The fire started in the two story building, which was situated between the large warehouses, and they spread rapidly. In a short time the wall of this building collapsed and the adjoining structures were soon ablaze.

The work of the firemen availed little, for besides being handicapped by lack of water, they were in constant danger from the tottering walls. Shortly after 2 o'clock these walls fell in and the work of destruction was complete.

A great crowd gathered to see the fire and the police were often forced to resort to their clubs to keep the people out of harm's way.

On a railroad siding between the buildings there were six cars loaded with paints. These were destroyed. The office of the company was located in the central building. Miss Rosa Murray, the bookkeeper, was almost overcome by smoke before she could make her escape. All the books and accounts were destroyed.

The cause of the fire is not known, but it is generally thought to have been due to spontaneous combustion. The loss is covered by insurance.

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA 2 Apr 1902