Whar was Monday morning one of the bnudsoine business blocKs in the city ia today a partial wreek. The Argns yesterday gave a hurried account oí the fire in thé block ocenpied by the Mack Furniture Co., on Main and Liberty sts. Ifc was stated that at the time of going to press it was uuder control. Toctay, to anyone who saw the flames pouring out of the third story Windows, it is a surprise that the walls are standing and as naany goods were saved. The fire was chiefly confined to the third story. What is saved is a testimonial to the good and efficiënt work of Chief Sipley and his assistants. When they arrived on the ground the fire was confined to the third floor. The heat occasioned by the bnrningoil, varnishes and furniture was intense, the flames belching out of the north widows, until fears were entertained that the store of Mack & Co. across Liberty st. would also catch afire. It was providential that no wiiid was blowing. If there had been as much wind as last Satnrday, where the fire would have ended cannot be foretold. The great nre of 50 years ago would have been repeated. There were hundreds of willing hands who carried furniture and cases out of the building. They were domped on the street and then moved again as the fire worked over to the east side of the building. Only one of the large plate glass windowj on the sonth east end of the building was broken. It was broken for the purpose of rernoving goods. Tbe fire started in the upholstering room on the third floor. Here were working Jack McCarrol, Adam Wah! and Will Wiegand. Mr. McCarro! suddenly discovered there was an nnusnal amount of heat near hiru, which upon investigation came frorn a 700-pouud bale of cotton battening which liad just been received. McCarrol called to Wahl to get the fire extinguishers and both of them fired the glass bottles with the mistare at the bale but with no effect. McCarrol ran down stairs and called up the fire department. There are two theories about how the cotton started. One is spontaneous combustión. The cotton must have been burning for some time before it was discovered. The other theory is the refrection of the snn through ;t,he ■wmdow. The bale of cotton wás close to the window. It would not take very innch heat from the focus of the window glass to ignite ÈMa cotton tbreads. If there were any seeds left in the cotton they would be oily; so that with either theory, spontaneons combustión or refraction of the sun only a slighc degree of heat was neeeseary to start the fire. The list of the insnrance, on the stock of the Mack Furniture Co. is as follows: Germán, Freeport, 111., f 1,000; DetroiD F. & M., 1,000; Hanover, N. Y , $1,500; North Britisli Mercantil $1,500; Magedeburg Fira Ins. Co., $1,000; Equitable, Providence, R. L, $1,000; Lancashire, 2,000; Traders, Chicago, 1.000; American, Philadelpiha, 1,500; Germania, New York, $5,000; Phoenix, New York, $1,300; Aetna, Hartford, 3,000; Security, New Yory, $1,500; Imperial, Londou, $1,000; total, 23,500. Williain April] 's insurance on building: Palatine, $2,000; Williamsburg City, $2,500; Cooper, Dayton, Ohio, $2,500; Girrard, Philadelphia, $1,000; Western Assurance, Toronto, $1,000; Boyal, Liverpool, $3,000; New York Underwriters, $2,000; Concordia, Mil-waukee, $1,000; total, $15,000.