A HOTEL COLLAPSES AFTER FIRE.
A week after the recent great fire which gutted the Boutelle & Peck buildings at Minneapolis, Minn., and their skeletons had cooled off one of the side wall of the Peck establishment was particularly examined by the city’s building inspector, all the more carefully, because it overlooked the Crocker hotel, a low-sized structure completely dominated by its taller neighbor. It was pronounced perfectly safe, and on the strength of this judgment on the part of Inspector Houghton the wall was allowed to stand, and the Crocker hotel guests went back to live in it without any hesitation or fear. A fierce wind storm, however, arose during the night of December 21, and so shook the side wall of the Peck building that it crashed down upon the hotel and caused the death of six persons, and very serious injury to two more. The three floors of the hotel were carried clean down into the cellar, burying the unfortunate victims of the crash under a heap of debris. It must not be forgotten that those who were in the hotel left it, and had been warned that there was danger, but had returned when they found that the Peck wall had been pronounced safe by competent authorities, with the exception of a small portion of the rear wall, which was to have been torn down at daylight. The catastrophe was the outcome of an error of judgment. The walls of the burned building should not have been left standing. Hot though they were, they should have been pulled down, as soon as their condition would have admitted of that being done. High winds are always to be expected in winter, and the danger arising from such a source should have been guarded against by the removal of its possible cause.
The proposed new waterworks system of North Fort Worth, Tex., will cost $100,000.