Chief Coots & Prest-O-Lite's 1907 Fire

This image supported an extensive Indianapolis Star article published August 18, 1907 that reported on the massive downtown Indianapolis explosion at the Prest-O-Lite factory owned by Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founders Carl Fisher and James Allison.
The prominent figure seen here is Charles Coots, Indianapolis Fire Department Chief at the time. Despite significant damage to the building and those of nearby neighbors, no one was seriously hurt during the conflagration. Check out the article for more information about the fire, Prest-O-Lite and the acetylene gas technology behind it. Prest-O-Lite sold the first effective headlights for automobiles - based on compressed acetylene gas technology.
The cutline for the photo read as follows:
"High explosives in the plant of the Prest-O-Lite Company, at Pearl and East  Streets, were a spectacular feature of the fire which partially destroyed the property and placed many live is jeopardy yesterday." 
Check out other images from the 1907 fire:

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