C. I. and S. Railroad Property Destroyed at Kankakee
Kankakee, Ill., wcund up the old year with a fire disaster which destroyed the large freight and transfer depot of the Chicago. Indiana & Southern Railroad, also the transfer and storage depot of the International Harvester Company, involving a total loss of about $75,000. The fire originated in the east end of the first-named freight and transfer depot, which was about one and one-half blocks in length. The fact that there had been no fire in that part of the building and also that this was the fourth blaze that had been started in the building inside of three weeks, lead to the belief that the fire was of incendiary origin, although some hold that the fire was caused by a defective flue in the chimney. The first alarm was responded to by the entire fire department. Upon its arrival the first-named building was found to be in a mass of flames. The buildings are located about three miles from the pumping station and the water is brought to that section of the city by a four-inch main, which afforded a very poor pressure. Several carloads of merchandise standing in the transfer house were burned with their contents. The greatest loss, however, was sustained in the destruction of the records and tariffs of the road, which comprised a collection of many years and can never be replaced. Through the regular correspondent of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, we have received the following technical description of the fire: “The building, which is in the northwest part of the city, covered a ground space of 65 x 600 feet, was one and two stories in height and was built of wood and brick about 15 years ago. The partition walls were of wood. The fire, which was discovered by the night watchman about 8.45 p. m., started from some unknown Cause and burned for six hours before it was extinguished. There were three hydrants located inside the property which constituted all the means on the premises for extinguishing fire. When the fire department reached the scene the flames had already enveloped about 300 feet of the building and considerable difficulty was experienced in getting near the burning structure, because of the freight cars standing on the side tracks. Our water system is direct pumping, and afforded a pressure of only 30 pounds for four plug streams The apparatus at work included two chemical and hose auto trucks and one horse-drawn truck. The auto trucks were of a Kissell Kar make. Seventeen hundred feet of cotton rubber-lined hose were laid with 3/4-inch nozzles, and one Eastman nozzle. The value of the property was placed at $60,000 and contents $25,000. The building was a total loss and on the contents it was nearly as much.”
The accompanying illustrations were made from photographs taken expressly for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, by our representative at Kankakee.