Cordage Works Fire.
On December 26, at 3:45 a. m., the watchman at the rope walk of the Cordage Works of the Plymouth, Mass., Cordage company, saw the reflection of a fire. He immediately returned to the yard, summoned one of the other watchmen, and found that the coalshed, located northerly and near No. 2 mill, was ablaze. When discovered, the fire was under considerable headway, the whole interior of the building being in flames. The watchman for the buildings near the shed states that he was in the basement of No. 2 mill about fifteen minutes before the fire was discovered, but saw no signs of it. The mill whistle was immediately blown, calling the mill fire brigade. Meanwhile, the watchman had brought one hose stream to play upon the fire. The engineer started the pumps, and all four were operated during the fire. Eight hose streams were taken off from the hydrants near the building, the pressure being from 125 to 150 lb. Later on, six more were brought into play —making fourteen in all. After about two and one-quarter hours the fire was extinguished. The building was 1-story and of considerable height, of frame construction, 180 ft. x 50 ft. It contained a track on a trestle. There were about 3,400 tons of New River coal in the building which was put in during September and October. Vertical pipes were located in the coal for taking the temperature. On account of the presence of gas, the temperature was taken on December 19 and showed 108° at the point where the trouble occurred. The coal was shoveled over and the temperature was taken on the next day, no sign of heating being discovered. On December 23 the temperature was 88°, and on December 24 it was 78°. During that time the coal for the boilers was taken from this vicinity. The mill had been shut down on the Thursday evening, so that no one had visited the building for two days previous to the fire, which was caused by spontaneous combustion in the coal, the destruction of the building being practically complete. Although the wind was blowing away from No. 2 mill, the heat was so severe that a large number of lights of glass were cracked and eighteen of the window frames, including casings, were destroyed. As soon as the men arrived in response to the alarm, some were stationed at each floor of No. 2 mill with lines of small hose, with which they extinguished any fire round the inside of the windows. This prevented any sprinklers opening in the mill; but the water from the hose streams wet and somewhat damaged about 2,000 lb. of sliver. A hosehouse was burned as well as one electric light pole 75 ft. distant from the building. The coalshed was unequiped with sprinklers. Their presence would certainly have prevented any damage to the build ing. The work done by the small hose in mill No. 2 in wetting down the windows undoubtedly prevented a considerable loss inside of the build ing itself. The loss was $12,349.
James Reynolds is now chief of the Saugerties, N, Y., fire department.