Leadership

Cellar Fire Tests Foam System

Issue 1 and Volume 124.

Cellar Fire Tests Foam System Dramatic extinguishment of a punishing basement fire within an hour climaxed the Milwaukee Fire Department’s first successful test of its twoyear-old high expansion foam system. The trial came last September 17, at the downtown Waldheim Furniture store. One of the city’s oldest business blocks, the four-story Waldheim building is of brick and timber construction, 100 feet wide, 150 feet deep, and 60 feet high. It has no sprinkler protection or fire detection system. The 8,000-square-foot basement has a masonry dividing wall running front to back down the middle, pierced by a single door near the rear. Other than three windows opening on the rear alley, there are no exterior openings to the basement. (Lack of ready access openings to both the basements and first floors of downtown mercantile occupancies was a complaint of Milwaukee’s fire chief 85 years ago.) The fire apparently started among office…

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