• According to Bill Foley, "In a single day, over 90 percent of Downtown Jacksonville burned, destroying 2,368 buildings and inflicting $15 million in property loss. Over 10,000 people were homeless after the fire ended.

     Ruth Campbell Stewart, an African American woman who lived during the Great Fire and lived to 106 years old, is believed to be the oldest person in Jacksonville. Although her house was directly behind and to the west of the factory, it shockingly did not burn. In her interview she claimed, “Now the colored people said that the white people wouldn’t telephone the fire companies and tell them about the big fire over at the moss factory o the corner of Union and Lee because they wanted them to burn up the Negroes and the Chinches, which was a bad insinuation to make on the people, nut for the longest time before the fire trucks would come.” 

    James Munoz, a native of Venezuela who was reared and educated in New York (and would eventually settle on Riverside’s Row), described the leaping path of fire:

    "I saw then that [my own residence] was in the path of the flames and would probably be destroyed, but the fire was still several blocks away and it seemed to me there would be plenty of time. In this I was mistaken. I had been fortunate enough to secure a cab and in this, I placed my children with their nurse. …As we drove away in the cab I found my hat was on fire; then the back of my coat and the back of the nurse’s dress were almost in flames. The small articles we had attempted to bring away from my burning home, for our immediate use, caught fire as the cab was driven away. I took my children to the house of an acquaintance over a mile away diagonally across the city, at the extreme end of Bay Street. Here I thought they would be safe. In little more than an hour, the flames had burned across the entire town and this house was in flames. Then, with other citizens, I sent my children to the country. During the afternoon I was in the fight to stop the onward sweep of the flames. It was, from the very first, a perfectly hopeless effort."

     A woman named Eartha White created the Clara While Mission for the Indigent and received a special award of honor at the White House by President Richard Nixon in 1970. “Due to Miss White’s pluck and daring, the Afro-American Insurance Company’s record was saved, which allowed the company to stay in business after the fire.” “After the fire, the Afro-American Insurance Company went on to become the oldest and largest black-owned business in the state of Florida.”