BATTLE WITH FIRE AT SEA.

BATTLE WITH FIRE AT SEA.

The British steamer Legislator, from Liverpool to Colon, was totally destroyed by fire on February 16; six of the crew perished, and four were very severely burned, her cargo included a large quantity of sulphur, phosphorus, percussion caps, liquid acids, and the like, which were stored amidships. On February 13 there was an explosion on board and instantly the whole vessel amidships was ablaze, shutting off the engine room The flames quickly extended to 1,400 tons of coal; and,as none could reach the engine room, the ship forged ahead at the rate of twelve knots an hour. The first mate took charge of the wheel and managed to hold the vessel so that the flames and smoke were kept forward as much as possible. When the explosion took place, a great sheet of flame shot aft, and the engineers had barely time to escape with their lives, as in two minutes all was afire. The explosion killed a fireman, and presently the cook jumped into the sea and was lost. Nothing could be done to put out the fire, as no one could get at the steam pump and there was no hand-pump. A sailing vessel, which must have seen the flames, was signaled; but she took no notice. Several men were cut off forward and an attempt was made to rescue them, in which the gig was swamped and two men were lost. The quartermaster jumped through the flames and escaped with slight burns. In an alleyway were eighty tons of coal and a side coal bunker, also full. This was all ablaze. For fourteen hours nothing had been done in the way of trying to extinguish the flames; but at last buckets were used with such good effect that in ten hours the engine room was read ed,and it was found that, in spite of the intense heat, the engine could be put in working order, and a pump was made to work. The fire had gained such headway that most all of the 1.400 tons of coal were burning, and it was impossible to extinguish it. Still the fire was partially controled 1 he furnaces were fed with burning coal and a large quantity of it was shoveled into the sea. Meanwhile the British steamer Flowergate sighted them and. notwithstanding the bad sea running, saved the passengers and the remainder of the crew—to the evident disgust of two big sharks that were playing round the boats. The explosion took place 1,800 IT iles from Boston and 700 miles from the Azores. The heat of the great coal fire was so intense that i‘ is remarkable the vessel kept afloat so long. The bolts were heard to snap and the iron sides to warp, and there is little doubt that the Legislator sank soon after being abandoned.

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