DESTRUCTIVE AND FATAL FIRE AT PITTSBURGH.
Pittsburgh, Pa., as been visited with another destructive fire —this time accompanied with a sad loss of life On Wednesday night a fire of mysterious origin broke out in the large cold storage plant of the Chautauqua Lake Ice Company. The entire building, with all its valuable machinery and goods in storage, was entirely destroyed, together with about a million dollars worth of merchandise of all kinds stored within its walls. The building occupied the block from Twelfth to Thirteenth streets between Pike street and Mulberry alley. It was a six-story brick, with three heavy lire walls, making in reality four buildings. The ice company had its plant and storage warehouse on the lower floors and the Union Storage Company occupied the balance of the building. One of the compartments was used as the Government bonded warehouse, and contained about 400 b-rrels of whiskey and alcohol. The loss in whiskey cannot as yet be estimated; but atlcast $100.000 worth was totally consumed. The building and contents were insured. An explosion of whiskey occurred,which blew out the Mulberry alley wall, with terrible results. At the time the alley was filled with firemen,policemen, newspaper men, and others. Many were caught by the falling wall and three dead bodies were recovered in the course of the night. Two were those of firemen, so terribly disfigured as to defy recognition The other body was that of Police Lieutenant J A. Berry Building Inspector J, A. A. Brown had both legs broken and was otherwise hurt. He was among the first to rush to the rescue of some people living in the adjoining tenements on which one of the walls fell, and was caught by a beam. Several persons very seriously, some danagerously, if not fatally injured were rescued. One man who was quite some distance off was killed by the fall of the electric lights which the explosion had shaken down. Many were hurt by flying bricks and beams hurled from quite a long way off.
Chief Humphreys and his men were never out of danger from the first, and in the beginning were badly handicapped in their work by heavy iron window shutters which prevented the windows from being opened Up to Thursday noon fifuen dead bodies had been recovered from the ruins. Three mtn are known to be missing and there are several more to be accounted for. Over twenty persons have been more or less injured, of whom one or two will probably die. The total loss will probably amount to over $2,000,000.
Hoseman Haggerty, of the Central fire station, Chicopee, Mass., has invented a trip hammer arrangement by which the turning in of a fire alarm raises the trap doors which close the opening about the brass sliding rods. This (it is claimed) will save several seconds in time in getting down to the apparatus and starting the teams.