5 Minutes’ Delay Results in Loss of Medford Plant
Owing to the fact that the alarm was not received until about five minutes after the blaze had started in the onestory and basement plant of the American Woolen Company, consisting of three buildings, situated in Boston Avenue and North Street, Medford, Mass., it was impossible to save the structures. The buildings occupied a space of 280 x 100 feet, were of frame construction and were used by the company for the cleaning, storing and shipping of woolen waste. The fire started on the first floor from spontaneous combustion in the wool bin at 3:15 P. M., and, as stated above, through a delay in sending in the alarm which was pulled from a stree box the fire had attained great headway and the building was in flames from front to rear when Thomas A. Qualey of the fire department arrive on the scene. He at once sent in a general alarm, which brought all of the apparatus in the city, and fire companies from Arlington, Somerville and Everett were also sent to assist the Medford department in fighting the blaze. The number of firemen engaged in fighting the fire from Medford were fifty-five and the apparatus consisted of one engine, one pumper, four combination chemical and hose, one hose wagon and two ladder trucks. There were six 6-inch double hydrants available, the distance being 400 feet between hydrants, with a pressure of 56 pounds. Two hydrant and five engine streams were thrown with nozzles ranging from 134 to 134 inches from 6-inch mains, the system being gravity. There were 3,450 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose laid. The Medford department was forced to maintain a detail of firemen for several days at the ruins of the three frame buildings, which were destroyed, on account of the large quantity of smoldering wool contained therein. The value of the property was $155,845.88, with a total loss; the value of the contents was $225,028.68, with a loss of $188,028.98.