A Church Fire at Vicksburg.

A Church Fire at Vicksburg.

An early morning fire at Vicksburg, Miss., caused the destruction of the old and historic Presbyterian church, which had for so many years stood as a landmark in the city. By a strange coincidence the last services were held in the building on the day before, a new church having been erected elsewhere. The fire originated in the basement of the Elks’ club adjoining the church, where the furnace was located. If the fire department had been summoned at once, when the (lames were discovered, the probabilities are that the loss would have been very small. Instead of that, however, the head porter tried his prentice hand on tire-service, and threw a tiny stream from a hose he found on the premises. When the firemen under Chief Wilks arrived, they saw it was hopeless to save either club or church, and, therefore, devoted themselves to preventing the spread of the flames to the theatre and the B. B. and A. club, in which endeavor they were successful, although the high wind carried sparks and burning brands aplenty to the roof of each building—that of the theatre was on lire more than once, and several incipient tires in houses more than a block away kept breaking out. The aggregate loss was fully $35,000. of which $30,000 was on the Elks’ club. The firemen made good use of their ladders in throwing copious streams of water into the interior of the club buildings, but at last were ordered down by Chief Wilks, just in time, as within five minutes the walls of the building against which the ladders leaned came down with a rush. The fire department of Vicksburg, tinder Chief J. H. Wilks, is well trained and efficient and enjoys the entire confidence of the community, who feel that the money laid out upon it is well repaid in the protection afforded them by their chief and his firemen. During 1907 the department was called out by 132 alarms. I he value of the property at risk was as follows: On buildings, $72,900; insurance, $50,900; on contents, $115,750; insurance, $56,450. The loss on buildings was $10,750; on contents, $36,360. The total value at risk was $188,650; total insurance, $107,300; total loss, $47. 110. Uninsured value at risk. $28,500; uninsured loss, $25,700. both contained in the preceding figures. The worst fires of the year were one in a cotton batting factory, the other in a cotton factory, the aggregate loss for the two most inflammable risks amounting to $32,800. The small proportion of loss shows good work on the part of the department. During the year the number of feet of hose laid was 25,250; feet of ladders raised, 700; gallons of chemicals, 920; hours worked, twenty-six.

Chief J. H. Wilks, Vicksburg, Miss.

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