Kirksville, MO State Teachers College Fire, Jan 1924

Kirksville MO Baldwin Hall before Fire.jpg Baldwin Hall on Fire .jpg

TWO BUILDINGS, STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE BURNED.

BALDWIN AND LIBERTY HALL DESTROYED BY FIRE AT KIRKSVILLE.

LONG CORRIDORS OF THE BUILDING MADE FIRE A HARD ONE TO COMBAT -- LOSS ESTIMATED AT $150,000.

Baldwin Hall, the first building on the present site of the Kirksville State Teachers College, was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon and Library Hall was later burned although it had appeared at 4:15 o'clock that the Library building could be saved, says the Kirksville Express.
Estimates of the damage ran as high as $150,000 at 4:30 o'clock, and it appeared that all the classrooms, in use at the college, with the exception of those in the new Demonstration School building will be out of commission.
Shortly after the fire started students and faculty members started carrying books out of the Library, and in the effort to save equipment several were almost suffocated, as the three buildings, Science Hall, Baldwin Hall and the Library building are connected by corridors.
Head Janitor JOHN JACKS was overcome by smoke and was rescued from the second floor of Baldwin Hall. He was seen hanging out of the window and gasping for breath, and was brought down by men who went up the stairway.
THe origin of the fire was unknown, one statement being that the blaze started near one of the big chimneys on Baldwin Hall and another that it was seen at the base of the tower on Baldwin Hall.
Baldwin Hall was erected in 1873 and has long been regarded as a fire trap. The connecting halls were regarded as giving a fire a splendid chance to take all the buildings and citizens generally were hoping that the new water mains would be completed before the buildings were threatened.
It will be months, however, before the mains are completed, and the fire engine was compelled to use water from the lake. Two big streams were fighting the fire within 15 minutes after the truck arrived, but by that time the fire was so hot that it seemed the water was turned into steam before it struck the burning wood.
No announcement was made as to continuing the school work for this term, but as so many of the recitation rooms were destroyed, it will be difficult to make arrangements for carrying on the classes.
At one time it looked as if a thrilling rescue scene would be staged in case of six boys who had become imprisoned in the gymnasium in the west end of Baldwin Hall. Ladders were run up to the second story windows to take them out, but in the meantime the boys had forced a door and managed to get down.

Chillicothe Constitution Missouri 1924-01-29