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The young bank clerk yawned and reached for his coat. James Kelley had worked into his supper hour again that evening and was anxious to leave the State Bank building in Vandalia where he worked.
It was a cold January evening in 1823. Kelley secured the fire in the stove, closed the door and walked down the street.
In the short time he was away, a spark from the stove ignited a bundle of bedding stored under a nearby counter.
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