Raccoon Times, July 25, 1998
At approximately 2 A.M. Thursday morning, Victory Lake district residents were awakened by an explosive blast that thundered through northwest Raccoon Forest, apparently caused by a fire that swept through the abandoned Spencer mansion and ignited chemicals stored in the basement. Due to delays from the police barricade set up at the forest perimeter (in connection with the recent string of murders in Raccoon City), local firefighters were unable to salvage any part of the estate's grounds. After a three-hour battle against the raging fire, the thirty one-year-old mansion and adjacent servant's quarters were deemed a complete loss. Built by Lord Oswell Spencer, European aristocrat and one of the founders of the worldwide pharmaceutical com- pany, Umbrella, Inc., the estate was designed by award- winning architect George Trevor as a guest house for Umbrella VIPs and was closed down shortly after completion for reasons unknown. According to Amanda Whitney, spokesperson for the Umbrella Corporation, parts of the estate were still being used to store a number of industrial cleaning agents and solvents used by Umbrella. Whitney said in a statement yesterday that the company would take full responsibility for the unfortunate incident, calling it "A serious oversight on our part. Those chemicals should have been cleared out of the Spencer house a long time ago, and we're just thankful that no one was hurt."
At this point, the cause of the fire is undetermined, but Whitney went on to say that Umbrella will be bringing in their own investigators to sift through the ruins in hopes of determining the fire's point of origin...

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