Fire Destroys 1929 LA Auto Show

5:58:00 PM

March 5, 1929
The Los Angeles Times


March 3, 1929: An overhead view of the Los Angeles Auto Show before the fire. Scan from original glass negative that has stains showing in sky. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA

The paper reported the following:
Fire starting from a smoldering cigarette broke out at the Los Angeles Auto Show at 4:10 p.m. yesterday, and a half hour later the $1,250,000 display at the corner of Washington and Hill streets, housed in four huge tents, was a mass of smoking embers, charred wood, blazing rubber and twister steel. The loss is covered by a blanket insurance police, officials of the show stated.
The flames originated, according to investigators, in or near the display of the Monocoupe Company, in the northeast corner of Tent No. 2, just in rear of the offices of the show, and near the restrooms…..
When the fire was discovered it was a small red trickle leaping up the hangings to the top of the tent. The flames soon burned a hole in the canvas and the wind whipped the blaze to a fury and it leaped from tent top to tent top.
Firemen, stationed at the show, made a futile attempt to halt the blaze with the use of the extinguishers scattered about the four tents, but found themselves powerless in the first few moments.
Approximately 2500 spectators were in the four tents when the call of fire was sounded, and there appeared to be no stampede to reach the exits….
Light explosions, as gasoline tanks burst on account of the heat, and heavy tires ignited, adding a light hazard to the attempt of the firemen to move some of the cars from the fire.

March 6, 1929: The Aftermath of the Fire. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA


March 5, 1929: Spectators watch the fire at the 1929 Los Angeles Auto Show. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA


March 5, 1929: Crowds surround the Los Angeles Auto Show grounds as smoke rises from the remains of tents and vehicles. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA
Source: The Los Angeles Times

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