Dangerous Fire in a Detroit Chemical Plant
For three hours the firemen of Detroit, Mich., worked their hardest on a very threatening fire in the Detroit Chemical Company’s plant. So far as the mere pecuniary loss was concerned $5,000 will cover the whole damage, but, owing to the exploding chemicals the firemen took their lives in their hands from the moment they entered the building. As soon as this peril was recognized three alarms were turned in, and after most strenuous work the fire was confined to one branch of the immense plant. The flames started in the cupola of the iron ore reduction section and spread rapidly to other parts of the building, which was constructed of wood and was highly inflammable, as it had been erected for quite a long time and the wood had become very dry. There were 10 men working in the building when the alarm was turned in, but they all got out in safety. In the building next to the one afire was stored a very large quantity of sulphuric acid and other chemicals, and to keep the flames from reaching it all the available West Side apparatus kept in reserve for just such emergencies, was called out. and the third alarm was necessary, as the flames, fed by the inflammable material inside the plant, threatened to spread to every part. The third alarm brought several additional engines, which kept the whole building thoroughly wet. On the railway siding, at a short distance from the fire was a carload of nitrate of soda. A special set of firemen was taken off to care for this added danger, since, if the flames once reached this chemical, the whole surrounding atmosphere would have been filled with poisonous and suffocating fumes, against which not a single fireman could have stood up. Fortunately, that danger was averted.