The short report in the Los Angeles Times also mentions that the fire was put out before it could threaten the Mar-Cal Theater, which it claimed adjoined the studio. However, what it didn't mention was the role of Kentucky Boy, the dog that saved the studio.
|From The Cincinnati Enquirer|
Interestingly, the story of the fire was often changed and embellished whenever it was retold. In fact, the only article that I found that mentions the Evans Studio was from a couple of months after the fire. After that, it was at best implied that the building that was saved was a film studio, often it was explicitly called a Hollywood motion picture studio. In some accounts, fire was bellowing from the building by the time Kentucky Boy arrived, and studio employees were running around in a panic! Other accounts moved the studio to "Poverty Row" (i.e. nearby Gower St.), again implying that it was a movie studio.
Of course, simply saving a building would not be enough to warrant giving a dog 19 medals. He was also credited with saving the lives of nearly 300 people who were watching a film in the Mar-Cal Theater. As mentioned earlier, the initial report of the fire said that the studio adjoined the theater, suggesting that if the fire had not been noticed, the theater would have also been set ablaze. However, there's one small problem with that story. The studio was not next to the theater.
Between the 2 buildings was the former Mabel Condon Exchange, as well as 2 driveways. None of the 3 buildings were physically connected, so for the theater to have caught fire, the flames would have had to have jumped over the 2 driveways. Possible, of course, but one would think that by the time the second building would have been engulfed, the theater would have already been evacuated.
|The Evans Studio is the white building on the left and the Mar-Cal Theater is the large building on the right.|
Tall tales or not, Kentucky Boy's fame lasted until his death in 1937. A memorial service was held in Lafayette Park where several dignitaries, including actor Hobart Bosworth, gave eulogies.
Sadly, 2 years after Kentucky Boy's death, his owner Robert Byrne was murdered in his home. So far, I have not found any indication that the crime was ever solved, although at least 2 people were arrested.