On Jan. 6 the Three Wise Men leave presents in the shoes of Spanish children, to whom stocking-stuffing Santa Claus is a stranger. This week citizens of Barcelona had barely begun to buy toys when fire totally destroyed on Christmas Day the seven buildings of El Siglo, “Spain’s Largest Department Store” which was crammed with toys against the coming of the Three Wise Men.
Barcelona firemen arrived at 11 a. m., coupled hoses to fire hydrants. There was only a trickle. It took a full hour for the Barcelona Water Works to get up fighting pressure. By that time El Siglo was a $4,000,000 bonfire, belching hundreds of feet in air, impossible to extinguish. When firemen were finally able to fight, the best they could do was wet down nearby buildings including El Banco Hispano Colonial from which cash, securities and gold had been hastily removed.