11. White House On Fire
On December 24th, 1929, an electrical fire broke out in the White House’s West Wing. It was a four alarm fire. The fire caused major interior smoke and water damage. Unfortunately, the White House didn’t even have insurance to cover the fire and water damage! They were able to get money from Congress and a majority of the interior rooms were completely taken down to the studs and rebuilt.
The fire started up in the attic area. A messenger happened to smell the smoke while walking around the halls. At the time there was a Christmas party going on downstairs. He discreetly told the President and the President’s key assistants. They were able to save many of the President’s belongings and carry out desk drawers, file cabinets, and even covered the President’s desk to protect it from further water damage. The press room was a complete and total loss. The press lost photographs and articles in-progress.