Aid Rushed to Town Farm
Forty-two aged inmates of the Town Farm and Infirmary in Milford, Mass., were led out in safety recently, when the large frame structure was swept by fire with a loss estimated at $75,000. Chief John F. Adams. Milford Fire Department, summoned aid from Hopedale and Chief Samuel E. Kellogg responded with Combination Company No. 2, a 750-gallon AhrensFox centrifugal motor pumper.
A new water reservoir recently built under WPA auspices was nearly drained by the combined pumping of three Milford engines. The Hopedale engine took suction from an old water hole to the west of the farm buildings. The recreation hall, one end of the main building, and the large barn were saved by the firemen.
Fuel oil flowing from a 500-gallon underground tank burned stubbornly in the kitchen as it was impossible to reach a shutoff valve near the stove. The firemen used five lines of 254-inch cotton rubber lined hose.
The Milford apparatus at the scene consisted of a 750-gallon American-LaFrance motor pumper, a 500-gallon American-La France motor pumper, a 400-gallon Maxim motor pumper, and a Maxim city service ladder truck.
There were 27 men and 15 women inmates in the building when the blaze broke out in an unused attic apparently from spontaneous ignition. Supt. Maurice L. Brittle and his wife rushed through the building and assisted the infirm inmates from their room. The blaze spread rapidly and had burst through the roof by the time the first apparatus reached the scene, several miles out of town. The main building was a 354-story frame structure containing a large dormity, 30 rooms, dining room, and kitchen. The property was insured for 390,000. There were no hydrants and it was necessary to lay long lines of hose from the two water holes. Some furniture was removed from the lower floor. Rainy weather helped prevent the barn and outbuildings from taking fire when these structures were showered with burning embers.