1918 Moody motion picture show fire – daring rescueNitro celluose film bursts into flame

Thought you might be interested in the following one since it tells us what businesses were located in the Bunnell Development Building in August 1918 – Sisco Deen

THE ST. AUGUSTINE EVENING RECORD, Thursday, August 13, 1918, pg8

Little George Moody Rescued from Balcony by Charles Burnsed After Being Slightly Burned 

Bunnell, Aug, 13. 1918 – What came near being a serious fire occurred here Saturday night, when the Moody moving picture show caught fire. There were perhaps a hundred people in the hall, consisting largely of ladies and children, when about 10 o’clock a fuse was dropped on a reel. Instantly a flame flashed and the crowd, though somewhat excited, moved quietly toward the front door and reached the street.

Dewey Moody, who was in charge of the show, made splendid efforts to extinguish the flame and at one time having become stifled with fumes and smoke fell from the platform on which the burning mass was situated, though without sustaining serious injury. Perhaps the most heroic action taken by any of those who had assembled to fight the fire was that of Charles Burnsed, who rushed through a mass of fume, smoke and flame and rescued the four-year-old boy, little George Moody, who had previously climbed into the gallery and was unable to escape. The little fellow’s hair was singed and Mr. Burnsed, who faced the flames, succeeded in reaching him just in time to save him from a horrible death.

While the damage was only about $500, had it not been for the timely efforts of most of the men of the town both white and colored, who strove for a half hour to control the fire, the loss would have run into the thousands, as all the county offices were in the building, besides the Masonic lodge, two restaurants the telephone exchange, post office and the office and plant of the Flagler Tribune. Hitherto the water supply for the town has been inadequate for the fighting of fire, but the city council will take immediate steps to have I erected a station that will furnish a sufficient volume for cases for some years to come.  

Nitrocellulose (nitrate motion picture film) Highly inflammable in 1918 almost impossible to extinguish with water. Used in motion picture film up to 1951 when ‘safety film’ introduced by Kodak. Fatal fires occurred in many locations.

Bill Ryan

Author: Sisco Deen