Close Call for New York Firemen.
The high-pressure system continues to endanger the lives of the firemen, chiefly, it may be supposed, from their not being sufficiently acquainted with its ways to handle it properly. On January 21 a fire was being handled on the third floor of the 6-story building, 16 Green street, Manhattan. Battalion Chief Reilly had sent six men to the fourth floor with two lines of hose to keep the flames from making their way up the elevator-shaft. The nozzlemen on the high-pressure wagon did not know this, and had eight lines of hose coupled up, with a pressure of 200 lb. behind each. As the flames seemed to be creeping up to the fourth floor, the streams from the eight nozzles were directed to the elevator windows. The eight streams hit directly in the centre of the group of six who had been standing between the elevator-shaft and the window. They were hurled from their feet and pinned against the iron screen in front of the shaft within a few feet of the flames. So great was the pressure that only one could move hand or foot. He, however, had fallen through the window and managed to crawl under the streams to another window and shout to those in the street to turn the pressure lines in another direction. His shouts were not heard till after some minutes had elapsed, when the lines of water turned back in the third floor windows. The five other men were so weak that they had to be helped down from the building by the other firemen. The flames were confined to the third floor, which was occupied by the William Tarbox rug salesroom. The damage is estimated at about $20,000. It is noteworthy that in no other city where a high-pressure system is installed, have such accidents accompanied its use as those that have happened in Manhattan.