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Giant Stove From 1893 World's Fair Destroyed By Fire In Detroit

DETROIT (CBS) -- One of the remaining artifacts from Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition was destroyed by fire in Detroit over the weekend.

The World's Largest Stove was a 15-ton wooden model built for the World's Fair by the Michigan Stove Company, and bearing the seal of Garland Stoves and Ranges. It was destroyed by fire at the Michigan State Fairgrounds on Saturday night after storms moved through the area.

At the 1893 World's Fair in Jackson Park and along the Midway Plaisance, the giant stove stood on a platform over an exhibit of regular stoves.

The stove was later returned to Detroit was mounted near Belle Isle, an island park in the Detroit River. The Detroit Historical Museum kept the stove for a few decades, and then it was returned to the Michigan State Fairgrounds on the northern edge of the city, CBS Detroit reported.

A lightning strike may be to blame for the blaze, said Michael Herron, a Detroit Fire Department senior chief. Herron said reports indicate that "natural causes" were to blame for the fire.

Detroit Historical Museum spokesman Bob Sadler told CBS Detroit it was a sad day for history, given that in the days before the auto industry, stove manufacturing was a keystone of the Detroit economy.

While it still has a state fairground, Michigan no longer has a state fair. It was canceled in 2009 due to budget woes.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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