Fire Threatens Historic Midtown Office Building

May 3, 1947
Los Angeles

A spectacular daylight fire nearly consumed the famed Bradbury Building, Third Street and Broadway, today, but it was saved by the concerted efforts of eighteen fire companies under the supervision of Fire Chief John Anderson. Crowds gathered in the streets to marvel as ladder trucks supported firemen climbing into the burning top floor offices of the Los Angeles Curtain Manufacturing Co. on the building’s Third Street side.

Credit for saving the historic building, constructed at a cost of $500,000 by mining pioneer Lewis J. Bradbury fifty years ago and immediately famous for its grill work, goes in part to courageous elevator operator Minnie Epp, 62, of 123 E. Ave. 35, who remained at her post to ferry firefighters up to the scene of the conflagration. There were two injuries, to fireman Joe Stovall, whose right foot was cut by an axe, and to building employee Gleason Burks, who was struck by a falling hose and knocked from the fifth floor to the fourth, but fortunately suffered only a bruised shoulder.

B.J. Erwig, owner of the curtain company, estimated damages at $8000-$10,000. The cause of the fire is not known.

In other news, it appears 15-year-old Esther Yvonne Brooks is going to be able to keep her nose, which was cut off when she was thrown through the windshield in an auto accident on April 21. The nose, which was missing for more than two hours, was found by Sheriff’s deputies searching the wreckage, and rushed to Wilshire Hospital, where it was grafted back on the young lady’s face. Plastic surgeon Dr. G. J. S. Rambo is cautiously optimistic that the graft will take, and Miss Brooks, of 706 E. Arbor Vitae St., Inglewood, should be back to her old nasal activities by early summer.