A new multi-storey brick theatre was erected around 1810 on what was at the time the north side of
The editor of the Richmond Standard, present at the scene, urged people to jump; he, with help from many others on the ground, then heroically saved the lives of many of those who chose to do so.
Also credited with helping save lives was Gilbert Hunt, a former slave who had purchased his freedom, then a blacksmith whose shop was located near the theatre. Along with Dr. James McCaw, a physician who was attending the theatre that evening, Hunt was credited with saving close to a dozen people. McCaw would lower them from the burning second story, and Hunt would catch them. Hunt also saved McCaw, who jumped just as a burning section of wall was about to fall on him. Today Hunt is memorialized by a historical marker on the site. A book, entitled Gilbert Hunt, the City Blacksmith, later was published in his honor and to provide financial assistance for him in his old age.