BUSINESS BLOCK AT PARSONS BURNED
Poor Equipment Hampers the Department.
The present population of Parsons, Kan., is about 10,000, and its fire-area 7,700 acres. It was, therefore, a very serious lire that wiped out a large portion of its business section a short time ago, and a matter for congratulation that further havoc was not caused, when it is considered that the city was so poorly equiped with fire apparatus to fight such a conflagration. No engine was used, for the sufficient reason that the place had none. For this and other reasons of insufficient tire-protective apparatus, its insurance rating is only third class. The whole story is told in the concise report of Chief W. A. Bttel who says “We have no steamer; our water-pressure was 25 lh. and thihose that we have been compelled to use hursted under this pressure. Besides, the tire was beyond any human control when discovered, as it originated in a little barn built right against a large lumberyard within two blocks of the centre of the city. The principal buildings destroyed were frame and brick, with no special lire protection. They were built from live to ten years ago and were of the ordinary type of stores. When the hose wagons arrived, the lumberyard was all involved, and it was with great difficulty that streams could he played on the pile, owing to the intense heat. No time was lost, however, in getting five lines of hose connected to three available hydrants in the vicinity, each hydrant being 41×1 ft. apart. I hey were double 4-in. pattern, with 25 lb. pressure at the time of the fire Only H in. and 1 in. nozzles were used, so that the streams were not only too light, but lacked force to IK’ effective A Straight hose wagon, built by \ H. Brundage, of Kansas City, Mo., a Scagruve o mbinatiou hose and chemical wagon and a 65 ft. aerial hook and ladder truck, the main equipment of the department, were on hand to assist in the work; but the truck and chemical were not much in demand. There was ample room to tight the lire, as the street in front of the block destroyed was 50 ft. in width. The water mains were 8 in and 10-in. in diameter. It was necessary to lay 3,200 ft. of hose, owing to the distance between each hydrant, and the longest lengths suffered badly from friction by producing poor streams, f’o arid to this drawback, four lengths of the hose burst and, being on our principal lines, caused unnecessary delay. There were no special tools, such as Deluge sets or turret-nozzles on hand, and. if there had been, they could not have been used without enginepressure. I he waterworks system is pumping direct into mains and standpipe. Considering the extent of property destroyed, the loss will not aggregate more than $130,000, upon which there is an insurance of $85,000.” Chief Y. A. Bud made a persistent and intelligent fight, in which he was well supported by the men of the department. It was owing to their desperate struggle that a greater slice of the business part of the city was not reduced to ashes.