St. Louis, MO Jewelry Store Fire, Dec 1897

St. Louis' Largest Jewelry Firm From Being Wiped Out by Fire.
But Half of the Stock Was Saved by Being in Fire Proof Vaults.

St. Louis, Dec. 19.---Fire started in the basement of the building occupied by the Mermod & Jaccard Jewelry Company, at the corner of Locust street and Broadway, early this morning. The five story building is a total loss, $335,000, fully insured. It is thought the fire started in the boiler room.

W. A. Rutledge, the engineer, and his family lived on the fourth floor. The fireman dragged them unconscious from their beds and carried them down the fire escapes. Five minutes later the floors fell. Several other tenants in the building had narrow escapes, but there were no fatalities.

The Mermod & Jaccard Jewelry Company is one of the largest in the world, and it being Christmas season, carried an immense stock. One-half of the stock had been placed in two large vaults and was saved, but the rest, as well as the building and its fixtures, was totally destroyed. So fierce was the fire that not a dollar's worth of salvage was taken out.

The Model Clock Company in the northeast corner of the building was wiped out, sustaining a loss of $50,000, on which there is insurance for three-fourths.

The Morning Herald, Lexington, KY 20 Dec 1897