From the Richmond Dispatch, 9/1/1864, p.1, c. 6
Incendiary Fire. – About half-past twelve o’clock Tuesday night, the rear part of the stable occupied by a free negro named Albert Brooks, on Governor street, between Franklin and Ross, was set on fire and entirely destroyed, together with five other adjoining one-and-a-half story buildings, occupied respectively by John J. Binford and T. F. Minor as stables, R. S. Robosson as a carpenter shop, and Henry Stanard, a free negro, as a snack and fruit store. These tenements were very old; and being attached to each other, in an incredibly short time the flames enveloped the whole block in a blaze, rendering it impossible for the fire-engines to do any good. The ground upon which they were built, and all of the shanties, except the stable owned by Mr. Minor, belonged to Mr. James H. Grant.
At one time the large four-story brick building, owned by John J. Binford, and occupied in part by the Sentinel newspaper, was in great danger; but the firemen directed their streams upon it, and prevented it from sustaining any other damage than the loss of the rear window sashes, frames and glasses.
Albert Brooks lost one fine horse, six pigs, and wagon, four double sets of carriage harness, and about two thousand weight of hay; Henry Standard lost about fifteen hundred dollars’ worth of melons, peaches, apples, soap, bread, &c., one gold watch, and four hundred dollars in money; Mr. Minor lost about twenty-five hundred weight of hay; Mr. Binford sustained about the same loss, and Mr. Robosson lost some lumber, a lot of valuable tools, and six of eight boxes of tobacco. In the rear of Mr. Robosson’s shop he had buried in the ground a small box containing a considerable amount of silver and gold coin, which he dug up all safe between seven and eight o’clock yesterday morning.
A negro boy, who was sleeping in the upper part of Brooke’s stable, came near being burnt to death. He was asleep for some minutes after the fire broke out, and the first intimation he had of his perilous position was the bursting of the flames into his room. There being no other chance for escape, he sprang from the stable-loft window through the flames, leaving behind all his clothes save a shirt, which he went to bed with.