DESTRUCTIVE FIRE AT ST. JOHNSBURY.

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE AT ST. JOHNSBURY.

Fire in the Citizens Bank Building, St. Jolinsbnry, Vt., early on the morning of November 3, gutted that structure, causing a property loss of $60,000 and the sacrifice of nine lives, seven persons being burned to death and two killed by falling from the upper stories, while endeavoring to escape, and a number of others severely injured. The building, four stories and basement high and occupying a site 80×90 feet, in the business section of the* village, was erected sixteen years ago, and was of substantial brick construction, with wooden floors and partitions. The lower floor was used as a restaurant and for stores, in the upper part were the quarters occupied by the bank and various offices. The fire was discovered itt the basement under the restaurant by an employe, who went to look after the fires at 4 o’clock tit the morning, and it was then burning briskly. The police station was also located in the basement of the structure, and the chief of police and others fought hard to put out the lire with extinguishers. This proved fruitless, however, and the firemen were summoned, a general alarm being rung in that brought a hook and ladder truck and fire hose wagons to the scene. By this time, however, the fire, mounting by way of a disused elevator shaft, open from bottom to top, was making rapid headway in the upper stories, the roof was burning, flames were pouring from the shaft and the windows were tenanted by shrieking victims, some of whom dropped help le-sly back into the flames, while others, in futile efforts to escape, were dashed to death on the pavement. In raising the extension lad tier a fatal mistake was made. Volunteers unfamiliar with it» operation extended it its full seventy-live feet on the ground, before attempting to raise it. By this means precious time was wasted, and when the ladder was finally placed in position, it was too late to he of any service. The fact that the volunteer members of the fire-lighting force had to be assembled front all parts of the village, at s,. early an hour, was also a source of delay. There were in all six hydrants available for use at the fire, and there was a sufficient sup ply of water with 90 pounds pressure furnished by gravity and the direct puntping service. With the exception of two, which were close together, the hydrants, two of which were six and four four inch, were 300 feet apart, and altogether eleven streams were thrown on the fire, from ¾-inch and 1-inch nozzles. The street was about 35 feet in width, and the water main was 12 inches in diameter. About 5,000 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose was vtsed, with Callahan shut-off nozzles, it may be recorded as a strange coincidence that just seventeen years ago, on October 30, 1892, the building occupying the site of the burned bank was destroyed by fire and one life lost.

A CORNER OF THE RUINS OF ST. JOHNSBURY ,SHOWING CHARRED SUPPORTS. VEIW TAKEN FROM ROOF OF MERCHANTS BANK BLOCK.

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