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Atlantic City, NJ Opera House Fire, Aug 1893



Atlantic City, N. J., Aug. 17. -- The business portion of Atlantic City narrowly escaped destruction by fire at an early hour today. The fire destroyed $75,000 worth of property. One life is supposed to have been lost. The fire started before daylight in the wooden Grand Opera House. All the fire engines in the city worked in vain to keep the flames from spreading from the playhouse.
Hundreds of volunteer firemen helped the uniformed force in a fight to save the City Hall from destrouction, but the big building burned like a tinder box when once it caught from flying sparks, and the various officials were compelled to flee quickly. The records were lost.
The fire next caught the train sheds of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and 145 feet of the sheds were destroyed. The entire city was illuminated by the flames, and hundreds of guests from the hotels and cottages turned out to see the spectacle.
At one time the jail was threatened, and the prisoners, eight in number, were removed to a place of safety.
A character known as "JIMMY THE SPORT," who slept in the Opera House, was reported missing, but was found to be uninjured. The fire is thought to have been of incendiary origin.

The New York Times New York 1893-08-18

article | by Dr. Radut