San Antonio, TX Elks Ballroom fire, Dec 1930

Flames Sweep Elks' Ballroom

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Dec. 25 (AP). - napping flames in a few minutes changed the eighth-floor ballroom of the Elks' Club from holdiay party room into a blackened mass of Christmas decorations and charred furniture Thursday night, about an hour before several hundred guests were to assemble for the annual Elks' Christmas dance.

Two men were injured in fighting the fire, which did damage unofficially estimated at $5,000. James Weber, 21, was burned on the left hand and arm when he attempted to tear down flaming paper decorations hanging from the ceiling. Capt. B. S. Sova of Fire Company No. 1 was cut on the mouth when he fell through a window in entering the building with a hose from a fire escape.

The fire is believed to have started from a defective electrical circuit of a toy train running in the corner of the ballroom which suffered the heaviest damage. An overheated electric motor on a $6,000 pipe organ also might have caused the fire, according to M. Riley Wyatt, exalted ruler of the Elks.

A two-alarm signal was sounded, bringing twelve fire companies under the directtion of Fire Chief J. G. Sarran. Three lines of hose were pulled up eight floors on the fire escape and through the windows which had broken from the intense heat.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 26 Dec 1930