EFFECT OF HEAT AT LARGE FIRES.
In the case of fires such as those which destroy printing works, the heat generated by the burning of vast masses of combustible goods stored in the rooms is intense, almost beyond conception. In such fires iron columns, thick glass skylights, and even brick walls have been known to melt, and the temperature throughout the space covered by the structure,and for a great height must be far above white heat. When immersed in such a temperature, timber, instead of burning from the outside seems to decompose suddenly, setting free large volumes of gas, which leave the non-volatile part of the wood in the shape of a loose heap of charcoal, torn to fragments by the violence with which the gases, and,perhaps a littlesteam, have been liberated. During a very large London fire great numbers of fragments of blazing charcoal, several inches long, and appearing to have been separated from large timbers, fell in the neighboring streets, and the violence with which the flames poured through the windows and across a street fifty feet wide, setting fire instantly to the buildings on the opposite side, shows how freely the great mass of fuel furnished by the structure itself, as well as by the goods stored in it must have burned.
The new paid fire department at Pensacola, Fla., has gone into operation. It consists of three hose companies, one truck, and one steamer.