A Fire That Was Not a Calamity

A Fire That Was Not a Calamity

Apparently, the fire which not long ago destroyed a property 100 x 120 feet in area, in the city of Clarksburg, W. Va., was not considered a public calamity, judging from the report received in which the comment is made that “The building was nothing but a shack and should have been burned twenty years ago.” It was a one-story wooden structure, 40 years old, and the fire was discovered and alarm telephoned at 11:50 p.m. When the department arrived, under command of Chief S. R. Hoffman, the place was thoroughly involved and there was great danger of the flames attacking adjacent buildings. There was no private protection on the property. Chief Hoffman had 16 regular firemen and a number of volunteers, and employed two pieces of motor apparatus and laid 1,800 feet of cotton rubberlined hose. The age and excessively dry condition of the old wooden structure made it an impossibility to save it, but the fire was confined to the place of origin. The contents of the department store that occupied one portion were chiefly men’s and women’s clothing and the rest of the building was used for pool tables and bowling alleys. The property was valued at $15,000 and the contents at $25,000, and the loss on both was total. The chief and the state fire marshal, since the fire, have condemned a number of old fire traps. Six 6-inch double hydrants were available with a water pressure of 115 pounds and seven hydrant streams were thrown at one time from 1 to 11/4 nozzles. Six and 12-inch mains supplied the water by gravity system.

The action of the members of Engine Co. 58 of New York City, in erecting a bronze tablet to the memory of their comrade Charles J. Johnson, promises to result in Commissioner Drennan’s taking similar action in honor of all firemen who have died in the heroic performance of duty. When the erection of the tablet was called to the commissioner’s attention, he approved of it highly and favors the idea of having similar tablets placed in the quarters of the companies to which the dead heroes belonged.

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