Bragg Building Fire at Birmingham.

Bragg Building Fire at Birmingham.

A fire which is rivalled only by the recent Armour packing house fire, occurred recently in Birmingham Ala. For sensational events and thrilling situations, there have been but few fires in the city which can equal that of the Bragg building on November 4. The building was occupied by Roberts & Son, stationers, engravers and lithographers, and the furniture department of Loveman, Joseph & Loeb, department store. This structure was situated in the heart of the business section of Birmingham, on Third avenue, between Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets. It occupied a space of 50×140 feet, was lour stories printing firm occupied half of the first two printing firm occupied half of the first two floors and the whole of the two upper floors. There was a wooden partition between the two firms on the lower Ilnurs. On the upper floors were situated the heavy machineryincluding a 3-ton lithographing press of the printing firm The building was not equipped with a sprinkler outfit nor any other system of fire extinguishing or fighting. At 11:20, Friday night, November 24, while the morning shift of police were emerging from their roll-call room in Third alley, they noticed the lire, which was only a block from them. The fire had broken out in the rear of the second story of the building in that part occupied by Loveman, Joseph & Loeb. The cause of the fire is not known. At the time the police discovered it, it had just broken from its confinement behind the windows. Officer Wilson reported the first, just as Joseph Hughes, manager of a local garage situated just across the alley from the fire, gave the alarm on the telephone. There were approximately 200 people employed in the building, and there were no special means of life-saving. By the time the department reached the fire, it had communicated to the floor above. The de partment had no hindrance in fighting the lire, as Chief of Police Bodeker, who was on hand, threw a strong cordon of police around the danger zone and kept the crowds hack. Two hook and ladder trucks, nine auto hose wagons, all Seagrave make, one chemical engine and five steamers were employed to fight the fire. There were eight hydrants available for use and these were situated 150 feet apart. The hydrants are 8-inch doubles. At the time of the fire there was a gravity pressure of 85 pounds coming through the mains, which in this section are 12 inches. There were six hydrant streams on the fire and 12 six hydrant streams on the lire and twelve steamer streams. The highest number of streams at any time was eighteen. The nozzles used were t 1-8 and 1 l-4 inches. Of the 12,000 feet of hose used, three sections were burned. The hose is cotton, rubberlined. tine Eastman ladder nozzle and one Glazier deck pipe gave excellent service. The water pressure was at its best and the steamers were never working prettier. The total loss is $100,000. just half the amount—$35,000 to the building and $05,888 to the contents of the building, which consisted of furniture. paper machinery and all accoutrements which go to make up a modern printing office. An unfortunate coincidence of the fire was the tragic death of Fireman John M. Massey. Mr. Massey with a numberof other firemen, was on the second floor of the building. Massey, Capt. K. R. Johnson and Fireman B. A. Slaughter were holding the nozzle of a steamer line, while the other men were pulling slack behind them. They had entered from the front of the building. When they reached the centre, the 3-ton lithographing press of Roberts & Son. on the floor above, crashed through the third, second and first floors and into six feet of water in the basement. Johnson. Massey and Slaughter were taken through the second floor with the pressJohnson and Slaughter escaping with a severe wrenching, while Massey was not found until 9:30 Saturday morning. His jaw was found to be broken, his neck broken, chest caved in and limbs broken. Physicians who made a post-mortem examination state that death was instantaneous. Mr. Massey was to have been married on December 7 to Miss Annie Fuqua, of this city. The furniture for their home had already been purchased and all was in readiness for the happy event. He was a general favorite among the firemen. He is survived by a sister and two brothers.

REAR VIEW OF BRAGG BUILDING SHOWING NETWORK OF ELECTRIC WIRES.

Author

  • News, dispatches, and updates from the editorial staff of Fire Engineering. Contact us .

No posts to display