BLAST IN PHOTO ROOM STARTS NEWSPAPER PLANT BLAZE
Linotype Operator Killed in Fall From Upper Floor—Flames Spread Rapidly to Every Floor —Battalion Chief Injured by Explosion
FIRE department officers are seeking to learn the cause of the fire that destroyed the plant and offices of the Baltimore Post on January 2.This old time Baltimore. Md., newspaper is owned by the Scripps-Howard interests.
Flames were discovered on the second floor on the east side of the building by a watchman making his regular rounds. He opened a door leading to a stairway and was driven back by the smoke. Shouting a warning to people within the building, he rushed to the street and turned in an alarm from a box on the corner. Three minutes after the first alarm and while firemen were getting the ladders in position, every floor was ablaze. Flames darted across a narrow street and licked the buildings opposite.
An explosion was heard and it is believed it started in the photographic room next to the editorial offices. Several muffled explosions followed and they are attributed to a heavy backdraft as each of the floors became involved.
Battalion Chief Tauber was injured by an explosion while raising a ladder to rescue four trapped men. The force of the blast threw him down and fractured his arm. A ladder raised to the trapped men was about four feet short of the window but the men managed to get down. A linotype operator was then seen to rush to the window, become panicky, and fall to the street below. He was killed.
So thickly did the streets become coated with ice that the United Railway sent truck loads of rock salt and sand so that their street cars could maintain some kind of schedule.
The pressroom was located in the basement and the business offices were on the fifth floor. All the equipment within the building was completely destroyed by the fire that lasted one and one-half hours. Six persons were injured. According to the latest estimates the total damage is $200,000.
Salvage corps officers are mystified by the source of the explosions, and following an investigation by fire department officers, it is believed that the fire started in a dumbwaiter shaft on the first floor