Another Carbon Disulphide Fire Perils Firemen
One hundred drums of carbon disulphide burned in a spectacular fire that destroyed the interior of a box car in North Scranton. Pa., earlier this year. One man, a switchman, was injured. Carbon disulphide is the chemical that wrecked a portion of the Holland Tunnel last May.
The fire, of undetermined origin, was discovered by trainmen at 5:15 A.M., when the freight train stopped near the Lackawanna Railroad Clover Street crossing in North Scranton.
Aware of the dangerous cargo, an alarm was telephoned to the Scranton Fire Department and Engine 4, Hose 4 and Ladder 4, responded in charge of Battalion Chief Joe Jones, 2nd Batt. Meanwhile Box 85 nearby was pulled and Engine 9 responded. Shortly Ladder 2 was special called for more foam powder, after Fire Chief Thomas Evans and Assistant Chief David J. Davis took charge.
Efforts to control the fire by application of solid streams proved futile and as the Scranton Fire Department had no fog nozzels, the Clarks Summit Fire Department, a volunteer organization about seven miles from Scranton, was summoned.
Liberal use of water fog on the fire, applied by means of an applicator and low velocity head, and through a Navytype fog nozzle finally controlled the hazardous blaze. This was about 11:00 A.M. The car was then shunted to siding to permit opening the main line and firemen went about the business of overhauling.
Although flames did not destroy the steel car, the intense heat generated by the chemicals buckled both sides from 10 to 20 inches. At the height of the blaze flames shot over a hundred feet into the air. While fire fighters covered exposures, police had their hands full keeping traffic moving and preventing the curious from approching within danger distance of the fire.
Firemen took no chances with the dangerous cargo. Even though the fire in the car was controlled, applicator and fog nozzle were employed to keep down the fire until all possible danger of reignition was past.
The injured man, Thomas Hayes, 53, suffered second degree burns of the face, arms and hands as he aided in hooking the burning car to a yard engine to remove it from the railroad yards. No firemen were injured The car was enroute from Buffalo to New York City via Scranton. No estimate of the loss to the car or cargo was given.