Cotton Warehouse Fire at Savannah

Cotton Warehouse Fire at Savannah

Chief J. H. Monroe, of the Savannah. Ga.. Fire Department, on December 16th, had a troublesome fire to handle when the Pierce Battery cotton warehouse burned. But for the good judgment and quick work of Chief Monroe, the entire structure with contents would have gone up in smoke. The damaged property is located in the northwestern portion of the city, occupying an area of approximately 100 by 150 square feet. The building is a new one-storv structure, built of wood and covered with sheet iron, but had no partition walls. The precise spot where the fire originated is unknown and the cause is likewise a mystery. The blaze was discovered bv men going to work. The first alarm sent in was at 6.45 A. M„ over the Gamewell system. It was two hours and thirty minutes before the smoldering cotton could be quenched. On the property there were both hydrants and hose, which assisted the department considerably in stopping the fire. When the department arrived a portion of the building was falling down and all the cotton, totaling 1,500 bales, was on fire. Six box-cars on the siding next to the warehouse were also burning briskly. Fifty firemen, under Chief J. H. Monroe and First Assistant A. J. Forbach, did effective work in confining it to the building in which it started. The chief employed four motor pumpers and hose wagons, three combination hose and chemical trucks tAmerican-1.a France make) and two chiefs autos. The pumpers worked, very effectively. Five hydrants of the 4-incit double type, and placed 300 feet apart, were available for use. The hydrant pressure was 50 lbs. Two hydrant streams were thrown along with seven engine streams. The total number of lines in use at one time totaled nine. All lines were equipped with 1‘4-inch nozzles. In all 4,350 feet of hose was used, of which no lengths burst. The water system of Savannah is of the direct pumping type and the pressure was maintained up to the mark during the entire period of the fire. The property at risk in the building amounted to $00,000, while the loss totaled only $40,000. The nature of the contents, which as mentioned above, consisted of baled cotton, made the water loss raise the total considerably. The salvage from the cotton damaged will approximate 50 per cent. Considering that only a 5-foot platform separated the building from the box cars, great credit is due the department in confining the fire to the building and preventing the cars on the adjoining tracks from burning. To Assistant Chief A. T. Forbach this iournal is indebted for the figures in this report.

Cbief J. H. Monroe, Savannah, Ga.

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