Conflagration Conditions at Springfield

Conflagration Conditions at Springfield

In comparing the fire conditions of Springfield, Mass., with those of Salem at the time of its recent conflagration. Chief W. H. Daggett, of Springfield, said recently to a local newspaper that it was almost useless to make many comparisons, because when such a conflagration as Salem’s visits a community, oftentimes the best fire department in the world is not capable of coping with it. It is beyond the power of any such force to stop it. Springfield, Hartford and Holyoke he said depend upon each other on such occasions for mutual protection, and should such a fire occur in Springfield he had little doubt but that both cities would lend the city aid in a very short time. “The great danger at such a time,” said Chief Daggett, “is from flying embers. In this way fires are set at a considerable distance from the origin of a fire, and it is this which makes it hard for fire fighters. In Springfield we have tried to keep the department up to the highest possible grade of efficiency, and we aim to check fires before they get too great a start. In this we are aided by the motor-driven apparatus, which is capable of getting to a fire quick. Springfield has few fireproof buildings and there are certain sections which would prove a stumbling block to any department. There is a need of more intersectional streets in Springfield. There are too many great clusters of buildings which would burn like tinder if a fire got a proper start. In many of these it is almost a half mile around through the streets which bound them, and that in itself is a handicap to the department. I am in favor of cutting streets through many of these blocks, especially in the downtown districts. Another thing I have been in favor of for a long time is the extension of the fire district and the elimination of shingle roofs and other roof coverings which catch fire easily.”

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