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One Exhibitor "Not Worrying, Insured in Fireman's Fund"

From the Fireman's Fund Record, March 1929.

Fire made a clean sweep of the automobile show at Los Angeles, California, on March 5th of this year. It originated from defective wiring in the airplane section of the show. As indicated by the illustrations, nothing remains but scattered piles of smoking ruins, studded with the charred wrecks of 313 latest model show cars.


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 around 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. The huge area covered by the tents would accommodate an attendance of 10,000, and the afternoon crowd was scattered throughout the various exhibits so that there was ample space in which the people could move and escape.


The fire caused an insurance loss on automobiles alone considerably in excess of $1,000,000, and because of the leading position of the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, it naturally sustained a heavy loss. The company had its adjusters on the ground before the flames had been extinguished.

R. F. Thompson, general manager of the Howard Automobile Company, one of the exhibitors at the show, and incidentally the largest retailer of automobiles in the world, was asked to make some comment on this, the second automobile show fire, the first being in Kansas City some three years ago. Mr. Thompson said: "I have nothing to say other than that I am not worrying; we hold a policy with the Fireman's Fund."

This tremendous loss brings it home to the dealer that it is necessary to have broad, comprehensive coverage, and our agents throughout the country should solicit the assistance of our nearest departmental office in making contact with local dealers in an effort to develop this class of business, as it leads to insurance on individual cars in the hands of purchasers.

[Fireman's Fund Archives: 4-1-3-4-40; 0408.]

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