Columbia Business Building Badly Burned

Columbia Business Building Badly Burned

A building in the center of the retail district in Columbia, S. C., occupying a space of 73×110 feet, partly one and partly of three stories in height, caught fire from unknown cause on September 17, and before the fire was brought under control the building was very badly damaged. The structure was occupied by Wingfield’s drug store, the Elks’ Home, and several small business establishments. The fire originated in the ceiling of the vulcanizing shop between the double roof of the single-story part of the building and quickly spread to a dry goods store adjoining and thence to the third story part of the building. The double roof caused the fire department considerable trouble and was the cause of the rapid spread of the fire. There were thirty men present under command of W. J. May, chief, the alarm coming in at 11:55 P.M. by telephone. Two American-LaFrance 750-gallon and one 1,400-gallon pumpers, one Robinson 900-gallon pumper, one Seagrave 75-foot aerial, one Webb machine and one Little Giant hose car were the apparatus in use. Twelve hydrants were available, spaced from 200 to 400 feet apart, with a pressure of 35 pounds at the hydrant. Eleven engine and two hydrant streams were thrown, with nozzles of 1 1/2 inches, the mains being 8 inches leading from a 24itich main. In all 6,500 feet of hose were laid, two lengths of which burst during the fire. The 75-foot aerial ladder was used to carry the hose up on the adjoining building. There was good pressure from standpipe systems. The fire burned seven hours before it was brought under control. The value of the building was $178,340. with a loss of $7,381. The contents, consisting of ladies’ ready-to-wear clothing, drugs, the stocks of the barber and vulcanizing shops, and the furnishings of the Elks’ Home, were damaged to the extent of $75,487.

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