Bridge in Boston Destroyed by Fire
On June 6 in the late afternoon the Boston Fire Department was called upon to light a b_____aze that broke out on the L Street Bridge at the end of Summer Street Extension in South Boston. The bridge, which carries trolley tracks and a highway, is a connecting link between the city proper and the City Point district.
The bridge is surfaced with six-inch granite blocks under which is a two-inch cushion of sand. The sand rests on waterproofing which is laid over 6 by 10-inch planking on 12 by 14-inch stringers, all of hard pine. The bridge was built about thirty years ago.
The fire originated near the draw and spread rapidly in both directions, the flames making rapid headway along the timbers beneath the bridge.
District Chief M. J. Teehan, Engine 2, Ladder 19, and Engine 44 (fireboat) responded to a still alarm at 4:54 P. M. A hell alarm was sounded from a box at 4:57, followed by a second alarm at 5:00 and a third at 5:12. At 6:28 P. M. an alarm was sounded to bring additional apparatus in to the south side of the fire.
It was impossible to get effective streams on the heart of the blaze and the firemen worked for hours in dense smoke. The small boats front the fireboats and rowboats were used to take lines under the bridge. Closely set piling and a stiff wind added to the difficulty. The public works department was called upon for pneumatic drills to rip up the cobblestones.
Many firemen had narrow escapes when the draw and sections of the bridge collapsed. About 300 feet of the bridge was destroyed with a loss estimated at $300,000.
The department laid 17,150 feet of 2 1/2 and 3-inch hose and was engaged at the fire all night. A special call was sent for an additional fireboat, Engine 47. A navy tug also aided.
The officers at the fire were Commissioner Edward F. McLoughlin, Chief Henry A. Fox, Acting Asst. Chief Power, Deputy Chief Kelly, Acting Deputy Chief Good, District Chiefs Kenny, Watson, Teehan and Coughlin, and Acting District Chief Chittick.