Big Blaze in Cliff Street, Manhattan.
A very destructive fire, which for some time threatened to become a conflagration that would sweep that portion of Gold street lying between Fulton and John streets, as well as several larger and smaller manufacturing buildings on Cliff street, Manhattan, recently broke out at midnight and lasted far into the small hours of the next morning. The building in which the blaze started was the large five-story brick structure 19-21 Cliff street, with a frontage of nearly 73 ft. on that street and Gold street, occupied by the Lalance & Grosjean Manufacturing company, on the second and third floors, and the Arthur C. Harris company, lithographers, on the ground floor, and 011c or two smaller manufacturing companies on upper floors. The fire started in the warehouse of the first-named company, from what cause is not ascertained, and was hurtling fiercely when it was discovered. Four alarms were sent in, and. owing to the extremelv cramped space in which the apparatus had to work, the firemen were considerably hindered in their operations. Cliff street itself is by no means a wide street; l»ut there the work was easier, as the men could raise their ladders and throw streams from the street without difficulty. The trouble was in the rear in Gold street, the width of which is hardly sixteen ft. 1 he firemen, therefore, took their hose into the buildings immediately opposite occupied by goldplaters, the John street telephone exchange office and sundry other firms, the burning building being flanked by others in which were stored inflammable oils and the like. The telephone operators were at first somewhat put out by the invading army of firefighters; but, after the first scare, they stuck valiantly to their posts. The Lalance & Grcsjean stock was highly inflammable; that of the lithographing firm and some printers in the building was still more so, and for a long time fears were entertained that the Ansonia compane’s clock warehouse, on the south, and the Lowes worth Sterling Steel company’s premises, on the north, both buildings much lower than that in the centre where the fire was raging, would catch fire, in which case the probabilities were that the flames would have gutted the houses on the north side up to the tall Stransky building on the southwest corner of Fulton street and on the south to the hig Waterbury premises at the northwest corner of John street. These two mas sive buildings would probably have acted as stops; hut all between were for some time in great danger. The stout party walls of the burning build ing, however, as well as of the Ansonia and the Sterling Steel companies, and the fact that there were no windows that might cause an exposure hazard, saved greater loss in Cliff street. The damage to the Ansonia building, in which was a large and very costly stock of clocks, was very slight; to the Sterling Steel company, only somewhat greater. Fortunately, also, for Gold street, the flames from the Lalance building towered far above the buildings immediate!) adjoining it (which suffered very little), were fiercest on the Cliff street side, and although the whole of the rear windows were completely burned out, and the whole structure practically gutted, the department was aide to control the fire so thoroughly that the old ramshackle rtretraps immediately opposite escaped with a very mild scorching, besides affordmg the firemen a secure footing from which to operate. The hig Cliff street building, though comparatively new. made no pretence to being fireproof: it was not sprinklered, but was very solidly built, with stout party walls. The accustomed open spaces and shafts afforded the flames plenty of opportunity to go right through it I he loss was at least $ 100,000.