Fire destroyed the Los Angeles Automobile Show

Tuesday 5th March 1929

Fire destroyed the Los Angeles Automobile Show. Over 320 new cars, including the Auburn Motor Company’s only Auburn Cabin Speedster, were lost in the flames.In a page one story, the Los Angeles Times reported:
“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.”

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