Destructive Fire in Chicago.

Destructive Fire in Chicago.

In the Packing Town stockyards, Chicago, a very destructive fire destroyed an old 4-story brick, Armour company’s building, unequiped with sprinklers, occupying a space of 62 x 310 ft. and having a frontage 181 ft., with 16 ft. in the rear and a 24-in. main laid on the street. The watchman, strangely enough, is unable to state where the blaze arose, but said that when he discovered it, the flames were “all over.” Nor could he or anyone else assign any cause for the blaze; hut it is supposed to have arisen from crossed electrical wires. When the tire department arrived at the lire the flames were visible in all the four floors and all through the buildings. In fact, they had been so fierce from the moment the watchman had first seen them that he had to turn in an alarm from another building. Forty engines t,Ahrens, Metropolitan, Continental, and Nott), were engaged in the fight with the flames, and these were greatly helped by the pressure plant of the Armour plant. Forty 2 1/2 and 4-in. hydrants and several pressure hydrants distant from 50 to too ft. from each other were available, the pressure being 150 lb. at the plugs. Ten streams were thrown from the pressure hydrants and 40 engine streams, 2 extra, were thrown, as many as 52 at one time. One and one half-inch and 2-in. nozzles were used, with 40,000 ft. of cotton, rubber-lined hose, of which three lengths were reported as having burst. Glazier and Kastman and Siamese streams were brought to luar upon the flames. As a rule, the water pressure was sufficient to furnish good plug and engine streams, but not for all the time, as the drain upon the supply was very heavy. The total loss on the property destroyed amounted to $101,000, with an insurance of $30,000 on the buildings, and $10,000 on the contents, which consisted of raw’ wool and fertilising material. The walls fell in sixteen minutes after the department arrived on the spot, carrying fire into the buildings on the west, chiefly by breaking down the walls of the old trussed-roof sheds. The handling of the fire by the department under Second Assistant Chief William Burroughs was admirable. It may lie added that the fertiliser building was of steel and was supposed to be fireproof.

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN CHICAGO.

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN CHICAGO.

On September 9 the Sante Fe grain elevator with its contents, consisting of 845,000 bushels of grain, was destroyed by fire, and whatever grain was not burned poured down into the river by hundreds of bushels. The elevator was 400 feet wide and 175 feet long, and was built on the banks of the South Branch river, in the midst of a maze of railway tracks and docks. It contained sixty bins for grain and was a five-story frame structure sheathed in sheet iron and corrugated steel. The fire, which broke out in a wheat bin on the top story, is thought to have arisen from spontaneous combustion. The first notice of the blaze was given by an explosion, and, when the employes hurried to the spot, they found flames issuing from one of the bins. Instead of turning in an alarm, they tried to extinguish the fire by their own exertions, but were speedily driven back and out by the fierceness of the blaze. They then left the building to its fate and turned in an alarm. When the firemen arrived the whole of the first floor was in flames, which were utterly beyond control. The firemen had considerable difficulty in reaching the fire and in obtaining water, although twenty engines and two firetugs were at the scene. The nearest waterplug was more than 200 feet away, while others were almost 400 yards from the building. Forty or more grain cars were standing jn a side track near the building. Engines were called, and these moved under heavy risk. None of the cars were burned. An hour after the fire began, the floors of the building collapsed, and later the sides gave way. Hundreds of bushels of grain flowed into the river from the north side of the building. Large embers were carried across the river to the north, and fell among the lumber piles in the yards of the John Sprv Lumber company, I lines Lumber company and the South Side Lumber company. To prevent a repetition of the lumberyard lire of 1891, five engine companies were sent to the yards to extinguish small blazes which were started by the flying embers. To outsiders there seemed no reason why the fireboats should not have done better work, even supposing the fireplugs were located at such great distances from the scene. There was plenty of water in the river, and supposably there was hose enough lioth for the land and the water operations. The fire served to show the necessity for fitting up such buildings with the Judge nozzle, whose powerful streams would soon have made the desired impression on the flames.