When the Gong Rings
A Fire History of Charleston, Illinois




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The quality of these pictures is poor because of age & the murkiness of the air due to smoke in the air when taken. The pictures are from the Charleston Daily Courier maintained from the Mel Taylor Historical Collection

Smoke billows out the front door of the department store.  This photo was taken shortly after the fire was called in to CFD.  Smoke would envelope the square

Flames roar from the windows and out the roof of the Alexander Department Store Wednesday night.  The store was destroyed by the fire.  The photo was taken just after the flames leaped through the roof and threatened to spread to other buildings in the block along the east side of the Charleston square.


Fireman Melvin Taylor and Assistant Chief Neal Hutton stand silhouetted against the haze in the Alexander Department store Thursday as they doused out small remaining fires

A crane takes a might swing at the weakened walls of the department store.  Brick walls were removed for safety reasons