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Immanuel Baptist Church Fire

Immanuel Choir Sings As Flames Destroy Building

Patient at Fire-Threatened Hospital Gives Birth to Twins as Blaze Endangers St. Vincent's.

Thirty members of the Immanuel Baptist church choir were in the midst of their concert program as the feature number of the weekly community sing at the Majestic Theatre Sunday afternoon when word was received on the stage that their church building was in flames and apparently doomed.

Someone whispered the word to a member of the choir and there was a ruffle of suppressed excitement as the news was passed along but the choir went ahead with their singing as the flames devoured their beautiful edifice and caused a loss of $150,000. R. L. Burton and Mrs. R. C. Means were soloists for the choir, which was directed by Mrs. B. W. Nininger. Many of the members left immediately at the close of the number for the scene of the fire.

The blaze attracted between 5,000 and 6,000 persons and automobiles and other vehicles jammed the streets in the vicinity for blocks, making work difficult for the police lines which were hastily thrown about the burning building.

Patients in the St. Vincent's infirmary, across the street east of the church, watched from the windows of the hospital and it was learned Monday morning that a woman patient gave birth to twins while the fire was at its height.

The Immanuel Baptist church had the largest Boy Scouts organization of any single church in the city, there being approximately 70 boys in Troups Nos. 11 and 22, commanded respectively by Dr. V. T. Webb an E. J. Gold. The troops had a room in the building in which was kept their exhibits and some of their paraphernalia, but all property was saved by some of the lads who hurried to the sceen [sic] after the flames had come under control and assisted families in moving furniture back into their homes. Many persons living near the church had moved furniture and belongings into the street as a precautionary measure, as the high wind made the blaze a dangerous one and did cause several minor blazes in the neighborhood.

unknown paper, Little Rock, Arkansas, March 7 or 8, 1926

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