During a recent fire in one of the high buildings in Chicago where the damage was only slight, the firemen were puzzled to account for the fact that the flames ran up the elevator shaft with a rapidity that was surprising considering that its sides, being constructed of fireproof material, afforded them nothing to feed upon. On an investigation being made, however, it was discovered that the steampipes which were against the sides of the shaft, instead of being covered with asbestos, as directed by the law, were enveloped in inflammable materials. It is true there was a layer of asbestos paper immediately next to them, but over it were two others, one of thick felt, another of canvas. ‘I’his triple envelopment, when a match was touched to it. at once blazed up and burned like tinder. After such a discovery the mysteriously rapid fires that have taken place in some of the big Chicago “fireproof” apartment houses is perfectly explicable. The authorities of that city are about to make a thorough investigation of the pipe coverings all over Chicago. It is by no means impossible that a careful investigation might show that a like condition of affairs obtains in New York and other cities.