Los Angeles Fire Department
Historical Archive



     Fire originating in the room of their 4-year-old daughter Ruth, destroyed the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Sheppard at 117 East Twenty-seventh street shortly before 9:30 o'clock last evening.

    When Mrs. Sheppard went into the room of her daughter shortly after 9 o'clock she was driven back by the flames which had been pent up in the small space.  The origin of the fire is a mystery and while there are indications that incendiaries started it, no trace of those perpetrating the crime has been discovered by the police.

    As quickly as was possible Mr. Sheppard telephoned to the fire department, but for some reason no reply to the frantic calls was received.

    Officer Mojonnier, who happened to be passing the house at the time of the fire, turned in an alarm.  A quick response was made to the call and two streams were soon playing on the burning building.

    Soon after the hose had been connected to the nearest hydrant, both lines were cut by a car which happened along at an inauspicious moment.

    The firemen who were placed to guard the hose say they shouted at the motorman of the car which cut the line and that the man paid no attention whatever to their outcries.  The men were placed with lanterns to keep street cars from running across the hose, but in spite of that precaution, the motorman refused to heed the signal and shouts of the guards and deliberately ran across the line.
    The firemen redoubled their efforts and soon had another line of hose reaching to the fire.  A few moments after the connection had been made a second time, the hydrant broke, but fortunately the firemen had the fire under control.

    The house and contents were destroyed and only a few valuables which the occupants had been able to carry out were saved.

    Sheppard is a waiter employed in the Palace restaurant and had built from his savings the house which was destroyed.  He placed the value of the house and contents at $2200. of which $1000 was covered by insurance.

    Sheppard's statement in regard to the fire is as follows:
    "I was in the parlor with my wife and family and we had just prepared my little daughter for bed. My wife accompanied her to the room and when she opened the door she was staggered by a blinding burst of flame and smoke which issued.

    "Hearing her cries I rushed into the room, but before I arrived at the scene of the fire I met my wife carrying my daughter.  I assisted them out of the house and attempted to give the alarm over the phone, but could not reach the fire department.  Before I could reach another telephone some one else gave the alarm.




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