Kansas City, MO Auto Exhibit Fire, Feb 1925


Million and Half In Automobiles Burned In Spectacular Fire


Total Loss Is More Than Two Million; Many Explosions Heard

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 14 (AP). - Motordom's newest offerings for 1925 were reduced to a mass of twisted and charred wreckage early today in a fire that ended the Kansas City motor show by destruction of the American Royal Livestock pavilion.

Three hundred pleasure cars, approximately seventy-five motor trucks, two airplanes and accessories destroyed were valued at $1,500,000. The $650,000 building was leveled.

Captain John J. Crane, 65, Kansas City's oldest fireman and head of the only remaining horse drawn company in the department, was burned to death. He was caught on an incline between the main building and an annex while attempting to work a hose.

The doors of the show had been closed an hour when the fire originated in the annex among the flimsy decorations, due, it was believed, to faulty wiring. The flames quickly spread to the main structure.

Blast after blast rocked the building as the flames reached the gasoline tanks of the cars. George Bond, manager of the show, declared all tanks had been drained, but that the fumes in the tanks probably caused the explosions.

Virtually all apparatus in the two Kansas Cities was rushed to the scene, but the efforts of the firemen were unavailing because of the great headway gained.

The ghosts of the recently proud kings of the motor world seemed to shriek and moan from the inferno when sirens and horns on the cars were set off as insulation burned from the switches and wiring.

Many of the exhibits were specially designed by the manufacturers. Five nickel plated chasses, built especially for show purposes and valued at $20,000 each, were destroyed.

The pavilion, owned by the American Royal Livestock association, was dedicated November 18, 1922, and was considered the finest of its kind in the country. The floor area was seven and one-half acres and the auditorium had a seating capacity of 14,000.

The Mansfield News, Mansfield, OH 14 Feb, 1925