From the National Republican (Washington, DC), 9/25/1865, p. 3, c. 1
ALMOST A SERIOUS FIRE. – Last night, a few minutes before 12 o’clock, an alarm of fire was sounded from box 38 – Franklin engine-house, on D street – by Officer Barclay. The engines were promptly on the spot, but it was found there was no need of them – the officer having mistaken the light at Smith’s saw-mill for a fire.
About half an hour afterwards, and before the engines had left the vicinity of box 38, an alarm was sounded from box 29 – corner of Seventh and E streets – by Officers Walling and Clements, of the Fourth ward, they having discovered fire in one of the rooms occupied by Mr. A. Gardner, the photographer, in the Intelligencer building, corner of Seventh and D streets. In a very short time the engines were at the place and at work, and the fire was soon extinguished.
The fire originated in what is known as the washing and toning room on the third floor of the building, and had burned through the ceiling when discovered. In a few minutes the flames would have spread to the chemical room immediately over the washing room, and then undoubtedly the whole building would have been destroyed. It is unknown how the fire originated, the last person in the building having left about two o’clock in the afternoon. Mr. Gardener is unable to ascertain the amount of his loss. Many pictures may be saved yet, but his loss will be very heavy.
Mr. Gardner states that the police and firemen were untiring in their efforts to save the property, and it was only through their prompt and energetic efforts that the whole building was saved. A large number of pictures were safely removed from the building, one glass only having been broken.
The wine and liquor store of Mr. Stewart was also somewhat damaged by water.
Mr. Gardner is determined that the accident shall not delay his business. This morning he has a large force of workmen at work, and it is his intention to have his gallery open, and all things in readiness for business on Wednesday morning next.