A Big Fire in Jersey City.
On Saturday afternoon fire broke out in the abbatoir foot of Sixth street, Jersey City, and in three hours destroyed $1,230,475 worth of property. The fire was poorly handled, the absence of anything like discipline or concerted action of the firemen being remarked on all sides. Nearly 6,000 head of sheep were roasted and many narrow escapes were had by men employed on the docks. For four days, the tugs of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who were the heaviest losers, were kept playing streams on the ruins, l he fire was seen for many miles, the thick black smoke from the fat houses rising to a terrific height. Three acres of buildings were ablaze at one time and the flames from these were plainly seen a dts» tance of thirty miles. Many narrow escapes and incidents are related in connection with the fire. When the alarm rang there were only two men on duty in Engine House No. 5. The other two men were at supper, depending in case of fire on the “ Buffaloes.” As the engine dashed out of the door, the collar of the nigh horse became unfastened and slipped off. Samuel Edgeworth, of 277 Sixth street, Jersey City, who was standing in front of the engine house sprang forward and caught the horse by the bridle. The animal immediately reared up on its hind feet nearly taking the man off his feet then plunged to the other side of the engine house, whereupon the driver jumped down and came to Edgeworth’s assistance, and together they slipped the collar back. There were a number of persons standing watching him at the time but none offered any help. But for Mr. Edgeworth’s quickness it is most likely that not only the harness would have been broken and
the engine unable to go to the fire, but that the driver would have been dragged under the feet of the horses. Mr. Edge, worth escaped with a bruised foot.
Chief Bonner on high Buildings.
Chief Hugh Bonner, of the fire department of New York City, in a recent conversation said : “ All buildings erected in this city with the steel-cage construction, either for offices or mercantile purposes, I look upon as dangerous in case of fire, for the reason that when they pass beyond 125 feet in height they get beyond the control of our department. We have nothing up to date that will aid us in extinguishing fires above that point. We have looked all over the country for them, but up to the present time have not been able to obtain any appliances that will warrant us in saying that these buildings in their upper stories are within our control in case of fire. I think it is the duty of owners and architects to make provision during construction of these buildings to provide against fire above the 125-foot limit stand-pipes, water and fire appliances that w’ill give the department an auxiliary plant established on the premises, with the necessary power in the cellar to be used in the event of fire breaking out in the upper stories. Unless some means of coping with fires such as these are adopted, fires that occur in these upper stories will unquestionably burn out while the firemen will be found standing on the street as much spectators as the general public and unable in the conditions mentioned to render any service. The department would just as soon handle a fire five hundred feet among the clouds as one on the ground, if they have the appliances to do is with. I am not aware that any of the high buildings have been supplied with proper appliances with which to meet fire in the upper stories; if they have it is without consultation with this department. In cases of other buildings where some attempts have been made to provide against loss by fire we have found the appliance so provided useless because differences in thread, etc., made connection with the deparment’s apparatus impossible. Our experience with fires in buildings of steel construction shows that the effect of heat on iron posts and girders is most destructive. Our experience warrants us in saying that it merely requires sufficient combustibles to be set on fire in any of the high stories to cause the steel structure to crumble and fall through the building. There is no question in my mind but that this will be the result wherever there is sufficient combustible material within the building. For instance, a lawyer’s office where a large quantity of papers and documents has been allowed to accumulate. I do not think cast-iron has any advantage over steel in the case of fire, the first will crack and break under a reaction, say from water coming into contact with it, and steel will twist and warp under the action of the heat, so that one is as bad as the other. People who put up high buildings under the conditons now possible, are taking the risk into their own hands. We endeavor to do the best we can, but above 125 feet we have no control. I certainly think the time has arrived to consider the question from the point of view of the public. 1 am of the
property Ot lUhiMiu^ mluivw auu’iu^ ovy Ucjituvvnv. iiuUiuvuiwy cotton hose. Three grades of “ I.eatherite ” fire hose are manufactured: “Dragon” the best, guaranteed to stand a pressure of 400 lbs. to the square inch; “ Czar,” next in order of merit, and “Comet, ” a single weave hose adapted for use in village fire service, and in mills, hotels and factories. These brands of hose are all made with seamless tubes, reducing friction to a minimum.
“’rest” carbolized rubber hose, described as “Unburied Treasure,” has been in use in the fire departments of the country for twenty-five years, and is a light, strong, flexible and durable hose, guaranteed to stand a pressure test of 400 lbs. to the square inch. The inner tube is seamless; the duck is carbolized by a patent process, and the ends are hermetically sealed and strengthened to resist the extra pressure and prevent the entrance of water into the duck.
The booklet also calls attention to their “ Patent Smooth Bore ” suction hose with flat galvanized iron spiral imbedded in the rubber, as well as to general fire department supplies, in which the company are large dealers.
The booklet will be mailed on application.
Chief M. L. Secbert of Marlett, Mich., writes, relative to the fire in W. L. Matthews mill: “ The entire plant was destroyed consisting of grist mill, oat meal mill, and elevator. It will be rebuilt at once.