On Dec 20, 1918, a raging fire at the Rapier Grain & Seed Company at 1st & Center Streets resulted in over $250,000 in losses. It started suddenly in an elevator containing over 150,000 bushels of grain. Firemen from all three Fire Stations arrived but initially had a hard time finding the fire itself due to the dense smoke in the building.
The five-week old plant was made of concrete and steel, so the fire was contained to one area without structural damage. The blaze did burst through the windows and from a distance was said to appear as beacon lights.
In 1941, the Rapier plant had been converted into a modern soy bean factory by Owensboro Grain.
Source: MI Dec 20, 1918
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