Harold Lloyd in Safety Last

In 1938, Harold Llyod bought 114 of his own films and built two film vaults at his estate. Harold Llyod was one of the early champions of film preservation and kept his own films to keep.

Unfortunately in 1943, when Lloyd's career ended, a nitrate explosion occurred at one of his film vaults. Nitrocellulose, which many early film prints were made of were highly combustible and flammable which was a major cause for some films to be lost forever. Seven firefighters and one of Lloyd's staff tried to fight the fire but succumbed to smoke inhalation and needed hospitalization.

Harold Lloyd entered the flaming vault attempting to rescue as many of his films as possible. Though he saved many of his films, he collapsed near the doorway, but was rescued by his wife and leading lady Mildred Davis. Though he was successful in rescuing some of his important work, many of the films that were stored were destroyed in the blaze, destroying 57 of the 63 Lonesome Luke films as well as much of Harold Lloyd's other movies.