Side A: On the night of January 3, 1894, Toledo’s largest fire broke out in the massive King-Quale grain elevators. A westward wind from Maumee River drove flames toward the center of Toledo’s business district. The blaze destroyed several buildings including the Chamber of Commerce and the West and Truaz building. Despite the best efforts of city firefighters using horse-drawn steam pumpers, the fire continued until a serendipitous shift in the winds allowed the firefighters to contain the conflagration.
Side B: The Toledo Fire Department’s Captain James Fraser died fighting the fire. Fraser was among Toledo’s many Irish settlers, arriving in the city in 1850 at the age of 14. He served his adoptive hoemeland as a soldier in the 130th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War and became a Toledo firefighter in 1872. Captain Fraser was last seen entering the burning elevator at the intersection of Water and Madison streets. Despite many days of sifting through the ashes and debris, his body was never found.