ANOTHER SPRINKLERED LOSS.
Another sprinklered risk loss recently came in the forty per cent, damage to the stock of the Globe Shoe & Clothing company, at St. Louis, a retail department store. The St. Louis Fire-Prevention bureau reported on the equipment as practically standard. It was equiped with a drypipe system, having 765 heads, of which 110 opened during the fire. The automatic alarm, also, failed to act, and the watchman was on the lower floor reporting his round on the signal box, when a passerby noticed the flames. The sixth floor was entirely gutted, the roof falling in, and the fifth floor is nearly a total loss, ihe sprinkler experts agree that the dry-pipe valve must have stuck when the fire broke out, as no water came through the sprinklers until the engines attached to the outside connection and began pumping. It is also reported that boxes on the upper floors were piled within a few inches of the sprinkler heads, in violation of the usual rules. The fire, which broke out 011 Sunday afternoon, February 24, was a fierce one, but was under control half an hour after the first alarm was turned in. The blaze started on the sixth floor, possibly from a defective or crossed electrical wire. A solid wall in the north side kept the flames from spreading in that direction, and, as it was somewhat of a danger-factor, Chief Swingley kept his men at a safe distance from it. The three-story west annex was saved after a hard fight, and was only slightly damaged by water. On the three lower floors the fire patrol spread tarpaulins over the goods, thereby lessening the loss. On the fourth floor, however, the damage from water was very heavy. The building was of good construction and was about four years old. The walls themselves, which were surmounted with a heavy tower, carrying a 5,000-lb. globe clock, threatened to topple over any moment. and, as the flames burned round the wallcoping of the clock, the latter threatened to pull out and fall on the firemen. The loss was $100,000. During the course of the fire. John Cleary, one of the firemen, had a narrow escape from death through an unusual accident. He was operating with a nozzle with a weak stream on the top of the extension ladder, opposite the fifth floor, when the full force of the steam was turned on. The sudden strain seemed to cause the ladder to break 5 ft. above the steel standard that fastened it to the truck. Cleary, who was bound to the ladder by his belt could not jump (if he had, he would probably have been fatally dashed to the sidewalk), and was pinned up against the window, fortunately not against the solid wall. The glass broke and cut the artery in his right arm, causing him to bleed profusely. No l>ones were broken; but he received severe internal injuries. It took six men to lift the ladder and release him, as he hung half inside and half outside the window. The base of the ladder came in contact with the trolley wire and the truck was charged with a heavy current for an hour, until the wires were out. Two or three firemen were shocked and one man knocked down by getting in touch with the truck. Fireman O’Donnell, also, when trying to run down an iron stairway leading to the escape, found the stairs giving way. He was thrown down 12 ft. and, when picked up in a state of unconsciousness, it was found he had sustained a dislocation of the shoulder.