Fire at the school
Houston (Central) High School burned March 18, 1919. As firefighters worked to put out the blaze, scores of Houstonians gathered to watch them battle the blaze. Hours later, about 900 students gathered near the building to check out the damage.
"As a matter of fact, not many expressions of regret were heard," the Chronicle reported.
Losses were estimated at $167,000 ($2,053,979 in today's dollars). Ten thousand dollars worth of textbooks were also destroyed ($122,992 today).
The paper said electrical problems may have led to the blaze. The school had been considered a fire trap for years.
"About the time the fire department began arriving on the scene, gases in the building exploded and the southwest corner of the structure was blown out," the paper reported.