East St. Louis, MO Barber Shop and Grain Elevator Fire, Mar 1884

Grain Destroyed By Fire.

A Conflagration in East St. Louis Which Caused A Loss of $1,000,000.

St. Louis, Mo., March 11.-Just before dark to-night a disastrous fire visited East St. Louis. It originated in a barber's shop on the levee, spread from there to a lot of other frame dwellings and then crossed the tracks of the Chicago and Alton Company until the flames reached the Advance Elevator A. This was a monster structure containing 300,000 bushels of No.2 mixed corn, 50,000 bushels of oats, and 20,000 bushels of wheat. This stock burned like so much oil, and a grand illumination was the result. Sparks were blown by the high wind as far as the St. Louis Bridge, and at one time it was feared that the structure would go. The people of East St. Louis have no fire engine, hose or firemen, and as the flame advanced they became frightened and sent over to the Chief of the St. Louis Fire Department asking him to come to their aid. The St. Louis firemen have often responded heartily to such appeals, but they have received such shabby treatment in return that they responded slowly to-night, and only went when told that their presence was the only thing that would save Elevator B, next to Elevator A, together with the surrounding property. They arrived at the fire just in time to save the second structure, but as it was, Elevator A was reduced to ashes. Seven frame-houses on the levee were also destroyed, together with about 100 freight cars, loaded with hay and grain.

The loss will amount to nearly $1,000,000. Elevator A was valued at $250,000, and was insured for $105,000 in 100 different companies. The grain in it was owned by St. Louis grain dealers, who hold insurance policies on the different lots. The freight cars destroyed were nearly all the property of the Chicago and Alton Railway, and were heavily insured.

The New York Times, New York, NY 12 Mar 1884