Creosote Shingle Factory Makes Hot Fire in Detroit

Creosote Shingle Factory Makes Hot Fire in Detroit

The wooden shingle as a roof covering is looked upon by chiefs in general as one of the great fire hazards, but when the head of a department receives an alarm announcing a fire in a shingle factory he realizes that he has a hard task before him. This was particularly true of Chief T. E. Callahan of Detroit, when his department was summoned to fight a blaze in the H. S. Barker Creosote Stained Shingle Company’s factory on the east side of that city. Added to the inflamable nature of the shingles themselves was the fact that the fire in the plant was spread by continuous explosions of oil and five minutes after being discovered the entire building was involved. Shortly after this, explosions occurred which blew out the walls of the building, setting fire to four frame houses which were built directly in the rear of the plant. The first alarm was received at 9.20 P. M. by telephone and before the department arrived the explosion referred to had occurred, the entire building was burning and the four houses were ablaze. On his arrival at 9.26 P. M.. Chief Callahan sent in a second alarm, bringing a total of 115 men and two steamers, five motor pumpers, two hose companies, four ladder companies, three high pressure lines and one fire boat. Twelve hydrants were available, two single and ten double 6-inch, spaced about 300 feet apart, with a pressure of about 25 pounds. Three hydrant and eleven engine streams were thrown with nozzles of from 11/4 to 11/2 inches, the water mains being 6and 12-inch. In all, 8,500 feet of hose were laid. The fire, which burned for two hours, practically destroyed the shingle company’s plant and badly damaged the four houses referred to. The loss on buildings and contents of the factory, which was total, was estimated at $200,000 and the loss on the four frame houses was about $5,000.

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