Car Body Factory Destroyed at Lancaster
Lancaster, Pa., recently was the scene of a fire that destroyed the plant of an important industry, the manufacture of car bodies by the Lancaster Body Company. The building was a forty year old wooden structure near the center of the city and was four stories in height, on a space 64X250 feet. The fire started about 9.15 p. m. and was discovered by a boy scout on his way home from a meeting, who immediately telephoned an alarm. There was quick response by the entire department under Chief William E. Johnson but the fire had already attained great headway and was breaking out of the windows on the three upper floors, in the centre of the building. 1 he origin of the fire is not known but is thought to have been caused by spontaneous combustion, as it started in the paint room of the body factory, on the third floor and quickly worked its way through the floor above into the finishing room where there was a considerable quantity of oils. The age of the building and the great amount ot woodwork furnished good material for the flames and Chief Johnson soon saw that strenuous efforts would be needed to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings that stood near and by skill and hard work succeeded in getting it under control in the place of origin after about an hour and a half. There were 60 men engaged and they used two pumpers, one aerial truck, three chemical and hose combinations, all motor, of American-La France make, in addition to three steamers and laid 4.000 feet of hose. Six hydrants, 6-inch double, were available, 250 feet apart and had 45 pounds pressure from a standpipe water system. Ten engine and three hydrant streams were thrown from 1 1/4 and 1 1/8-inch nozzles. The first floor and part of the second were occupied by the Queen Motor Company which had a large number of automobiles stored there, as well as automobile supplies of all kinds. The troop of Boy Scouts that discovered the fire, did good salvage service by rescuing a number of cars, one of their number happening to have a Ford switch key in his pocket. The Scouts took out some cars while sparks dropped through the ceiling. The loss on the property, valued at $60,000 was $35,000 and on the stock, estimated at $60,000 there was a loss of $40,000.