Department Store Burned in Wilmington

Department Store Burned in Wilmington

The Outlet Department Store, on Market Street, in the southern side of the fire district of Wilmington, Del., caught fire recently from a cause unknown, and was practically destroyed, according to a report by Michael F. Mulrooney, secretary to Chief Wm. J.Lutz:

The alarm came in from Station 61 at 1:32 a. m. for the fire, but it had been burning for some time before alarm was turned in. This is proven by the fact that when Deputy Chief Donahue turned 2nd and Market Street, one square from his quarters, where he left on second round of the box, the flames were leaping into the air through the roof. Fire started on first floor, center of building, and shot up through elevator shaft near point of origin until it reached the roof. 300 and 302 Market Street being connected to this building with open archways soon caught fire, and spread rapidly. F’irst floor of all these buildings occupied as stores, retailing men’s and women’s clothing. Numbers 1, 3. 5 and 7 E. Third Street, first floor occupied as barber shop, and retail stores of various descriptions. Second floor of building used as clothing store showrooms, third floor of 300 and 302 Market Street, and 1, 3, 5 and 7 E. Third Street used as apartments, and of 304 Market Street, also fourth floor and attic used as repairing room for clothes.

As soon as deputy chief arrived at fire, he sent in second alarm, al 1:35 a. m., and immediately followed it by a general alarm, at 1:36 a. m. Engine Co. No. 7, first to arrive at fire, responding to Station 61 at Third and King Streets., took the hydrant at that corner, and worked from the front of buildings on Market Street. Engine 2. second company to arrive, worked also from Third and King Streets, one front a six and the other from an eight-inch main. Engine Company No. 4, last engine company coming on first alarm to arrive, worked from Fourth and Market Street, from a 12-inch main. Truck Three arriving on first alarm and coming into Third Street, was moved around in front of building on Market Street, and worked from there. Second alarm brought in Engine Companies One, Three, Eight, Nine and Truck One. Third alarm brought engine companies Five, Six and Ten and Truck Two. Each company except Three responded with pumper, which was immediately put into service. About fifteen lines were used, being operated from Third St., Market St., roof of Lippincott Building, next door, and building on Third Street.

Owing to the good start, this building impossible to save, as well as the one next door. The entire third floor of all buildings, however, were entirely swept by flames, owing to the poor dividing walls between them, some of the walls between rooms in the building being only of wooden construction.

Deputy Chief E. A. Donahue and Asst. Chief Crockett responded on first alarm, and Asst. Chief Harvey Tazewell responded to second alarm. The third alarm brought out Chief William J. Lutz, who had been out of bed but a short time, and was unde doctor’s orders not to answer fires, owing to injury suffered when wall fell on him and his Aide E. J. Pappa, March 1, 1922, during a slight fire in vacant house, at 220 King Street. Chief Lutz immediately loo., command of the department, and seeing it was impossible to save the immediate buildings, used most of his de partment in keeping the fire from spreading.

The men on Third Street end, under Asst. Chief Crockett, stood severe punishment, and did effective work, at one time directing a stream through a doorway into the burning building from a room whose walls, floor and roof was blazing fiercely. Deputy Chief Donahue and his men worked from the third floor of 300 Market Street, in the excessive heat and smoke, and did effective work. Chief Lutz worked from Lippincott’s roof, while Asst. Chief Tazewell worked the Third Street side. All active apparatus was used at this fire, except the two new American-LaFrance combination wagons, which were not taken from the house. About one hundred fifty men worked at this fire, and did good service.

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I.ippincott Building, 306-9-10 Market Street, suffered a loss of about $12,500 by water, due to the heat coming through walls and windows setting off their automatic sprinkler heads. Their fire curtain, on Third Street side of building did much to prevent fire from gaining entrance to their building. Damage as follows: 300 Market Street, $5,000; 302 Market Street, destroyed; 304 Market Street, destroyed. During the height of the fire, roof collapsed, causing front wall of 302 Market Street to bulge out, and a portion of the top of the wall to fall to Market Street. The men under chief and deputy chief at this time were on third floor, but had sufficient time to get from under same. Some of the men made their escape by sliding down electrically lighted display signs on front of the building, and some by ladder. This ladder, 24 inch, of truck 3, was a minute later demolished by the falling stones from the wall above. Grand total damage, $100,000.

The apparatus at the fire consisted of four AhrensFox pumpers, one Thomas hose and chemical car, four Metropolitan steamers, one Boyd and one American-I.aFrance service trucks, and ten American-La France combination wagons, there being 150 men at the fire. Nine 3-inch hydrants with 6-inch leads and 4-inch outlets were spaced 250 feet apart, with about 80 pounds pressure at the hydrant. Fifteen engine streams were thrown, with nozzles of from one to one and a half-inch nozzle, the water mains being 16 inches.

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