Chief Kelle Checks Fire in Business Section of Johnstown

Chief Kelle Checks Fire in Business Section of Johnstown

What might have been a serious fire in the heart of the business section of Johnstown, Pa., was confined, with slight loss, to the first floor of the Dibert building. This is a four-story brick structure, 30×100 feet in area, and housed a drug store and a shoe store on its first floor. Twenty persons were employed in the building. The interior partitions are of wood. Fire was discovered in the cellar by the occupants at 9.50 a. m.; it is thought that a lighted candle in the hands of a boy was the cause. The clouds of thick smoke, which poured out of the cellar, delayed the firemen in their work. They made a quick response to the telegraph alarm, and the forty firemen, under Chief L. M. Kelle, soon had 6,000 feet of hose laid and nine good streams. Seven of them, furnished by the engines, were well directed and successful in keeping down th£ fire. A good pressure of 80 pounds was supplied by seven hydrants. about 300 feet apart. Five of these were 6-inch and two 4-inch double. Four triple combination motor pumps of the American-LaFrance make and a second size steamer gave good service. The firemen found the use of a cellar pipe and smoke helmets an advantage. An hour and a half of well-directed work sufficed to stop the fire and save the building. The structure is valued at $100,000, and $1,000 will repair the damage to it, while on the contents the loss was kept down to $12,000 on stocks valued at $50,000. This small loss was due to smoke and water. Chief Kelle and the members of his department arc entitled to much credit for this clever piece of work.

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