From the Richmond Sentinel, 2/24/1864, p. 1, c. 7
Destructive Fire. – About 1 o'clock yesterday morning, the large brick building fronting on Cary street, between 17th and 18th, and running back some sixty feet to an alley, formerly used as a tobacco factory, but more recently occupied by Mr. David Baker, Jr., who was engaged in the manufacture of Confederate coffee, was discovered to be on fire. The presumption is that the fire was accidental, probably being caused from the heating of some of the furnaces used in the upper story for parching wheat. – While the fire was at its height, the boiler of an engine in the basement exploded, knocking a hole through a wall of four brick in thickness, the fragments from which scattered in every direction, portions of it being thrown to a considerable distance. A good deal of damage was also done to a number of shanties immediately surrounding the burning building. There were several persons, whose names we could not learn, injured from the debris; one of whom (a soldier) received a serious cut in the head. – A young man slept in the office in the front of the building, but did not become aware of the fire until the building was enveloped in flames; upon discovering which he got out uninjured. – The destruction was almost complete, but few articles being saved. A portion of the walls alone remain standing, and is liable to fall at any moment – the curious had, therefore, better be careful in the approach. An insurance existed upon a part of the tenement.