A Maine Lumber Fire
The folly of attempting to extinguish a lumber fire, even in its incipient stage by the use of hand hose and a force of men workers in the yard was shown in a recent blaze in the plant of the Augusta Lumber Company of Augusta, Me. As the blaze started at 8 o’clock a. m., there was no excuse of an absent or careless night watchman not turning in an alarm or the flames raging unseen. There were hands enough in the luniner yard to see that the alarm reached the fire department at once, as was proved from the fact that the watchman gave a whistle alarm and a passerby pulled a public box. The fire started in the first story of the sawmill, which, with the planing mill, was of open joist construction and unsprinklered. In its incipient stage the blaze was a small one, and that it spread so quickly was due to the fact that while the amateur firemen, with the best intentions, were working on it with a hand hose, all they effected was to cause a shower of sparks to fly upward and around, with the result that the flames quickly assumed alarming proportions. Those who afterwards worked on the fire, which lasted three hours, were city part-paid and volunteer firemen. The blaze was well handled and the water supply was adequate under 100 pounds pressure. Notwithstanding that, however, the sawmill, with the adjoining buildings in a lump, the clapboard planing mill, half the open lumber mill, the sawdust and shaving house, ali the platforms and carriers, and the greater part of the finished lumber stock, were destroyed, with a loss of $75,000, insured for about $50,000.