May 31, 1883 (The Banner Enterprise, an African American newspaper out of Raleigh, NC, 3d page)
The big fire last Sunday night was the most destructive that has visited this city in many years. Twelve buildings were consumed; twelve horses, eleven of them the property of Mr. Melvin Noble, were burned to coals, and fifteen sheep perished in the flames. Besides horses, Mr. Noble lost an omnibus, a new phaeton, four buggies, two fine carriages, all his harness, feed, etc; his total loss is estimated to be at least $7,000. He has the sympathy of the entire public. Mr. Noble is one of the most enterprising and business-like colored men of the city. His property was only insured to the amount of $1,000. All the firemen, white and colored, worked like beavers.