Though the fire fighters were capable of dealing with real blazes, the Fair
had their own fire department, hence, Hale's firefighters found action on the
Pike. The attraction was operated by George C. Hale, former Kansas City Fire Chief, who ascended into celebrity status.
The building contained a 5,000 seat auditorium to house the 50 minute show. Hale repeated the extravaganza four times daily.
The show began with informative on how the fire wagons worked as well as draft horses leaping through `fire.' The the set switched to a New York City street and illustrated how the brave firefighters were alerted, responded and dealt with a six-story building fire. There were women s while receiving first prize at the 1893 International Fire Tournament in London.
There were women and children to rescued, while hoses were fought the `blaze,' the strongest men pumped the `water.' The interesting fact for this attraction was that there was no fire
used in this spectacle. Special effects and stage tricks which
included: steam, electricity, film, stained glass, silk, celluloid
and assorted mechanics physical effects created a realistic
illusion of a building on fire.
At the end, the building collapsed after the rescue of its
After the show, the crowd gazed at a collection of old and new
firefighting equipment. New York sent two fire wagons once
pumped by George Washington and Benedict Arnold.
There was a 2,000 seat restaurant in the exhibit as well.
Building cost: 52,500 dollars
Admission Cost: 25 cents adults 15 cents children
Exhibition Profit- 326,994.21 dollars