BOSTON HAS TWO 3-ALARM FIRES; BOTH OCCUR ON SAME NIGHT
Fire on River Front Warehouse Brings Out Fire Boats Other Fire in Brick Building Water Supply Ample
ON Saturday evening, March 13. the Boston Fire Department had two serious third-alarm fires.
The first one occurred in an old stone building on the land end of Long Wharf used as a warehouse. This blaze was a stubborn one and started from an unknown cause in the coffee storerooms of the Martin L. Hall Company, on the third floor of No. 63 Long Wharf. The fire extended to the 4th and 5th floors of this and the adjoining building. The building is a long structure divided at intervals by brick fire-walls. The fire was fought by high pressure lines, engine streams, and by lines from fireboats. Extension ladders were used both front and rear, effective streams being directed into the windows from these ladders. Wagon pipes were also brought into play.
While there was still a considerable amount of apparatus at this fire an automatic alarm came in, quickly followed by a street box alarm for a very threatening fire in a 5 story brick mercantile building at the comer of Hanover and Union Streets in the north end business section of the city. This second fire rapidly assumed dangerous proportions and the flames swept through two floors of the building, the 3rd and 4th. It appeared for a time as if the whole building would be destroyed; but the department made a remarkable stop and soon brought the flames under control. Three wagon gun streams and a tower stream from hose lines laid from high pressure hydrants conveniently situated were used with good effect and followed up by lines taken over stairs, ladders, and fire escapes. Heavy water damage was caused to retail stores on the ground floor of the building.
The first alarm from Box 1257, Atlantic Avenue at Long Wharf, was sounded at 7:48 p. m. This was followed by a second alarm at 7:54 and a third at 7:57. The_ response of apparatus was as follows: Engine companies 25, 8, 39, 26,
and 44 (fireboat), ladder companies 8 and 1, rescue company 1, and water tower 1, all on the first alarm; engine companies 4, 7, 6, 50, and 47 (fireboat), ladder companies 18 and 17^ and water tower 3, on the second alarm; engine companies 15, 22, 35, and 9 and ladder company 13 on the third alarm. Protective department wagons, searchlight car, and fuel supply wagon also responded. Chief Daniel F. Sennott was in charge of department operations and was assisted by Deputy Chiefs Albert J. Caulfield and Henry J. Power and by District Chiefs Howard, Mahoney, and Richer.
The covering or locating assignments were as follows: on the 2nd alarm—Engine 15 to engine 25, engine 22 to engine 4, ladder 13 to ladder 8, ladder 24 to ladder 1, chief of district 2 to house of engine 4, and chief of district 7 to house of engine 26; on the 3rd alarm—Engine 10 to engine 4, engine 23 to engine 26, engine 43 to engine 25, ladder 5 to ladder 8, and deputy chief of division 3 to house of engine 22. Engine 23 was sent to the house of engine 7 by direction of the fire alarm office.
The fire originated from an unknown cause on the third floor of No. 63 Long Wharf, a section of an old 5 1/2 story stone and brick mercantile building. The flames extended to the 4th and 5th floors of No. 63 ami into the 4th and 5th floors of No. 64 in the same block, probaby through open fire doors. Two wagon gun streams were used on the front side of the building and one in the rear. Lines were taken over stairways and fire escapes and streams were played from aerial ladders both front and rear. Salt water lines were laid from the fireboats which made fast to the dock. The building had a peaked roof covered with slate. It was owned by the Long Wharf Corporation and the burned section was occupied by the Martin L Hall Company, wholesale coffee dealers. The department laid 5.600 feet of 2 1/2 and 3 inch cotton rubber hose hose. Nozzles used ranged in size from 1 3/4 to 1 3/4 inches.
Besides the high pressure hydrant lines water was taken from an 8 inch main with four Lowery hydrants, this main running out on the wharf to a dead end. With the exception of one tractor drawn steam fire engine all the engines in use were American-LaFrance motor pumpers. Three aerial ladders were used. Falling slates from the roof menaced the firemen at work on the ladders. The fire was a very smoky one and gave the department a hard fight for nearly two hours. A detail of one officer with 15 men and 3 lines of hose remained at the scene all night and part of the next day to do overhauling.
At 10:34 p. m. an automatic alarm was received and was followed by second and third alarms from Box 1214, Corner of Hanover and Endicott streets, at 10:41, and 10:45 respectively. At this time the third alarm was still in from Box 1257 for the Long Wharf fire. Engine 4 and ladder 24 responded to the automatic call with District Chief Taguc who was covering in at Engine 4, and were joined almost at once by engine 6, engine 50, ladder 5, and water tower 1 which answered the first alarm from the street box (engine 50 being dispatched to the scene by order from the lire alarm office. On the second alarm engines 8, 15, 23, and 38, ladders 3 and 9, water tower, 2 district chief 7, and deputy chief of division 2 responded, ladders 3 and 9, engines 8 and 38, tower 2 and deputv chief of division 2 being sent by order of the fire alarm office. On the 3rd alarm the response consisted of engines 3, 9, 10, and 22, and ladder 12, engines 3 and 22 and ladder 12 being sent by order of the fire alarm office. The officers at the fire were Chief Sennott, Deputy Chief Albert J. Caulfield, and District Chiefs Tague, Howard, Mahoney, and Downey.
The fire originated on the third floor of the brick building at 119 Hanover Street and extended to the 4th and 5th floors. The building was occupied by stores on the ground floor and by the Menark Clothing Company on the upper stories. The building was 100 ft. by 45 ft. by 70 ft. Three wagon guns and a water tower were used in the early stage of this fire and lines were also taken over fire escapes and stairways. In a remarkably short space of time the flames which were raging fiercely on two floors of the building were brought under control. In three quarters of an hour some of the extra alarm companies were taking up their lines.
There was an abundance of high pressure hydrants available in close proximity to the burning building. Five high pressure hydrants were used. These hydrants had four outlets each and were connected with 12 and 16 inch mains. The pumping was done from Station No. 1 for both fires and the pressure furnished was 125 pounds. The department laid 2,900 feet of hose at this fire. Several firemen suffered minor injuries. A detail of one officer and three men remained at the scene after the apparatus left. The members of the Boston Protective Department under Supt. Henry Thompson spread a large number of covers to protect goods in stores on the lower floors. The newspaper estimates of the loss ranged as high as $300,000 for both fires, the damage by fire at the Long Wharf building being placed at $150,000 and from $100,000 to $150,000 in the Hanover Street fire including the water damage. The fire department estimates were considerably lower.