1904 - KNOXVILLE LIBRARY BURNED. CITY'S SECOND BIG BLAZE IN THREE DAYS - FIRE DEPARTMENT CRIPPLED.
Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 14. - The Lawson McGhee Library, a three-story brick structure, at Gay Street and Vine Avenue, was destroyed by fire this afternoon. It was the city's second big fire in three days. On the ground floor of the building was a double store occupied by the VANCE Furniture Company. The second floor was devoted to the public library, containing about 15,000 volumes, and the offices of the Commercial Club. On the third floor was the Knoxville Business College.
The fire originated in the basement from the furnace and rapidly spread throughout the structure. Firemen saved the surrounding property only after a hard fight. The building was valued at $20,000 and was given to the public in 1885 by COL. CHARLES M. McGHEE of this city as a memorial to his daughter, MARY LAWSON McGHEE, who died that year.
Capt. JOSEPH FRAZIER of Engine Company No. 1 and Capt. JAMES JONES of Engine Company No. 2 were overcome by smoke.
VERNON MILLER, a volunteer, was crippled for life by falling glass. The department is badly crippled as a result of Saturday morning's fire, eight members having been disabled. The total loss in today's fire was $54,000; insurance, $37,000.
The New York Times
New York, New York
November 15, 1904
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