Electro-Static Spark Causes Large Fire

Issue 4 and Volume 93.

Electro-Static Spark Causes Large Fire A spark from a workman’s hand touched off a fire in one of the large factory buildings of the Russell Manufacturing Company at Middletown, Conn., causing a loss of about $500,000. The Russell Company, the city’s largest industry, employs about 1,500 persons and manufactures brake linings, factory belts, and cartridge belts. An employee said that friction built up an electrostatic charge on his hands and caused a spark just as he was dipping a fabric belting into a vat of gasoline. The blaze, which started in a treating room where various sorts of fabrics were coated with a gasoline and rubber mixture, fed on the inflammable substance and, within a few minutes, spread to every corner of the two-story, concrete structure, which contained 28,000 square feet of floor space. All of the employees in the building made their way to safety through a dense curtain…

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