Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5), Page 223

Chapter 16—The Review and Herald Fire

It was Tuesday, December 30, 1902, a quiet winter evening in Battle Creek. No snow was on the ground. Most of the three hundred employees of the Review and Herald publishing house had left their machines and editorial offices for the day. A few workers had come in for the night shift. Elder Daniells, the newly elected leader of the General Conference, was still in his office on the second floor of the West Building, just across North Washington Street. A little after six o'clock Elder I. H. Evans, president and general manager of the Review and Herald Publishing Company, and Elder E. R. Palmer had met with him to look over some new tracts in preparation. At seven-twenty Palmer left, and Daniells and Evans were chatting.

It had been a good year for the Review and Herald—one of the most prosperous. There were bright prospects for a busy 1903, also (RH Supplement, April 28, 1903).

The Tabernacle bell rang, summoning the faithful to prayer meeting. Then the electric lights went out. Daniells stepped over to the window and saw flames coming from the publishing house.

A few minutes before, all had been normal in the big building. The night watchman had just made his rounds through the engine room. Then the few employees at work detected the smell of smoke. Immediately the lights throughout the plant went out, leaving everything in total darkness. The dense, oily smoke that filled the building with incredible speed forced everyone to leave hastily; even now some found the stairways cut off and took to the fire escapes. All the workers got out, but one just barely made it,

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