East St. Louis, MO Deering Harvest Machine Co. Fire, Mar 1904

BIG BLAZE AT EAST ST. LOUIS

DEERING HARVEST COMPANY'S PLANT WITH CONTENTS ENTIRELY DESTROYED.

LOSS PLACED AT $150,000

Little More Than a Half Hour Necessary to Leave the Building a Mass of Smouldering Embers.

East St. Louis, March 21. -- The four-story warehouse of the Deering Harvest Machine Co. on Railroad avenue near Main street in East St. Louis was completely destroyed, with its contents, shortly after noon Monday. The loss is estimated at $150,000.

The fire started among a lot of twine in the basement from an unknown cause.

The first discovery of the fire was at 10:30 o'clock Monday morning, but employees threw out a quantity of the twine and thought they had put out the fire. The fire department made no investigation.

At 12:45, the twine was found again to be on fire, and before an alarm could be turned in the basement was in a blaze and fire was shooting up the elevator shaft.

Within half an hour after the fire was discovered, the four walls of the building had fallen in.

A general alarm was turned in, but the fire department could do no more than save adjoining property, chief of which was the freight depot of the Southern railroad.

Several freight cars standing on the tracks were ignited, and, blazing, were hauled away by a switch engine.

While the firemen were fighting the fire, the team attached to ladder truck No. 2, stationed a block away, started to run. They dragged the heavy truck for five blocks, turning two corners without accident and ended their run by driving the tongue of the truck into the side of a street car at Missouri and Collinsville avenues. The truck was not badly damaged, and the horses were not hurt.

Decatur Herald, Decatur, IL 22 Mar 1904