Archive ID: 1981-113-09

National Malting Company fire

Date Created: 1912

Donor: Evelyn L. Simon

Media Type: Photograph

Language: English


A spectacular fire occurred on September 3, 1912 at the National Malting Company complex at 103rd and Indianapolis next to the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad tracks (later the Pennsylvania Railroad) on Chicago’s Southeast Side. An elevator at the site was destroyed as well as 450,000 bushels of grain and nearby railroad cars. More than 20 fire companies responded, and a very large crowd of spectators was present. Police had a hard time keeping the spectators at a safe distance from the fire. Several 4-11 alarms were sounded. Although the elevator itself collapsed, firemen were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to the adjacent malt house itself. There were no injuries to the one hundred men employed at the malt house at the time of the fire, although some firemen reported minor injuries. Damage was estimated at $250,000.

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