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Building Gutted By Fire; Unkown Number Of Faulkner Photos Lost

February 17, 1986

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) _ Fire officials were investigating the cause of a weekend blaze that destroyed a collection of photographs of Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulker and his family.

The blaze swept through The Warehouse restaurant and shopping center complex Saturday, destroying a photography studio where an undetermined number of negatives and photographs from the Faulkner collection were stored, officials said.

Firefighter Ross Lindsey said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

The large wooden structure, built in the 1930s, was home to specialty stores, The Oxford Times weekly newspaper and the popular restaurant and night club known simply as The Warehouse.

The restaurant suffered extensive water and smoke damage, fireman Leslie Kitchens said, but the other shops were gutted.

Jack Colfield, son of Faulkner’s family photographer and owner of Colfield’s Studio, said he did not know how many of the hundreds of negatives and prints salvaged could be restored.

J.R. Colfield photographed the Faulkner family extensively starting in the 1930s, and ″I made Faulkner’s last portrait three months before he died,″ in 1962, Jack Colfield said. He said he was able to save an autographed copy of that photograph.

″A great deal of history has been lost,″ he said.