Baton Rouge Has Destructive Fire

Baton Rouge Has Destructive Fire

One of the most destructive fires from which Baton Rouge, La., has suffered in a long time, was that which recently caused the total loss of the Knox building, a large three-story brick structure in the commercial district and threatened the entire section. It was occupied by a Kress 5 and 10 cent store and other business firms, and the fire was discovered about 10 p. m. in the Kress store. The alarm was given by messenger, but before the department could respond an explosion took place which converted the interior into a “blazing furnace,” in the words of Chief Robert A. Bogan, who was in command. Five bystanders were injured by glass blown out by the explosion, whose cause was unknown. The chief put every available piece of apparatus into action as many of the most important business houses of the city were within the block or only a square or two distant, and by exercise of the utmost skill and energy, the men succeeded in getting control before the fire had extended beyond the adjoining building, a small, onestory structure occupied by a clothing store. The walls of the larger building fell upon this and helped to smother the flames. The thirty firemen engaged used two American-LaFrance triple combinations, two American-LaFrance combinations, an aerial truck and a hose wagon and laid 5,000 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose. Six four-inch double hydrants, 800 and 400 feet apart, were available and had a water pressure of 40 pounds from a 12-inch main. The department was delayed by the cutting of several lengths of hose by dying glass. Neighboring buildings caught fire more than once but the firemen were too quick in their action to allow these to get away from them and the fire was stopped in the place of origin. The fire crews of the Standard Oil Company gave valuable assistance, but it was early morning before the “All out” could be sounded. The loss was estimated at about $150,000.

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