Burst Water Pipe Menaces Harrison
Harrison, N. J., was placed in a somewhat troublesome as well as dangerous position on February 15 by the bursting of a fourteen-inch water main. The main supplied all of Harrison and the consequent shutting off of the supply left the city with no water service whatever. The danger was regarded greater because of the heavy fall of snow and freezing weather, and special precaution was taken to guard against the possibility of fire. Schools and some factories not supplied by independent service, were compelled to close. The mammoth plant of the Worthington Pump Company was one of the more fortunate ones, as it has its own water system, and was able to keep its wheels running. The break which occurred about 4 p. m., on Sunday, was the most serious that has ever been experienced by the town, the water flowing to considerable depth on Fourth street, Harrison avenue and Central avenue. The flow was shut off as soon as the break became known, and work of making repairs was at once begun. It was fully twenty-four hours before the service was turned on, and only a short time afterward a fire broke out at the plant of the National Oil and Supply Company in Essex street. The loss was placed at $30,000. Chief C. F. Johnson had given orders to the fire department as soon as the main broke, to be in readiness to answer an alarm of fire, and extra teams of horses were kept on hand. The blaze was discovered in the shipping room and spread rapidly, the flames feeding on oil-soaked timbers. The employes were forced to flee, some not having time to get their overcoats. Chief Johnson was at the point where the broken water main had been repaired when called to the fire. Realizing that there was danger of a spread of the blaze to nearby factories he telephoned to Chief Moore of Newark, who sent Engine Company No. 4 and Rattalion Chief Towie to help. Employes of the Headley & Farmer trunk factory across the street from the oil plant, got out their fire-fighting apparatus and rendered good service. The oil plant was surrounded hy several commercial buildings and two dwellings on Essex street, near First street, were threatened. Freight cars loaded with lubricating oil stood on sidings nearby. An engine was sent to move these, but as they were being pulled away one left the rails, stalling the string. The firemen, however, kept a stream on the cars and prevented them from being burned. When the superintendent of the General Electric Company learned of the conditions all the male employes in the neighborhood of the plant were summoned and put to work connecting pipes with the large tanks on the roof for emergency use.