It's a great story and a part of the Blackstone legacy, but did Houdini perform similar heroics 17 years earlier?
In the new monograph Houdini & Gysel, author Wayne Wissner quotes a letter to Houdini from Robert Gysel in which he states:
"Understand that you was [sic] some hero at the Keiths fire in Indianapolis on apl 4th, that thru your coolness saved the spectators from being terrorized, Good for You."
sold for $214.)
But the big question remains -- what exactly did Houdini do to "save the spectators from being terrorized"? I can't find any mention of this in any biography. I also tried to find news of a theater fire in Indianapolis on April 4, 1925, but turned up nothing.
I'll throw this one out to the Houdini detectives.