Issue 7 and Volume 22.

DUST AND FIRES. The loss of life during last week’s fatal fire in the Northwestern grain elevator, Chicago, was caused by an explosion— the reason of which lay in the accumulation of dust all round the building and specially round the boiler house. This had been lying in heaps and been added to year by year, till it was as dry and inflammable as gunpowder. The fire rapidly spread and its outbreak was immediately acompanied by the fatal explosion whereby the flames were scattered through the whole building. Such fires are not incommon in grist mills where there are two kinds of dust, moist and dry—the later being the source of danger. To factories the same remark applies, and ordinarily the dust that exists in the factory or shop on overhead beams is dry and sometimes may be ignited by the electricity generated by belts. Belts are rapid generators of…

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