“Egypt” Has Busy Week End
That portion of Southern Illinois known as “Egypt” had a hot time during the January 26th week end.
Fire departments from nine southern Illinois communities mobilized to put out a hotel fire in Herrin, Ill., on the 26th. The blaze proved only one of several incidents that kept fire fighters on the jump in that area.
The fire in the Laymar Hotel was placed under control late in the evening and firemen were picking up their gear when the Christopher Fire Department, one of the mutual aid forces, received an emergency call to hurry back home where a residence was burning. A piece of apparatus from the DuQuoin Fire Department, also on mutual aid, was dispatched to Christopher.
A few minutes later, two homes burst into flames in Cambria, Illinois. Three fire units were rushed from Herrin to battle these fires, since Cambria has no fire fighting equipment.
A short while later, fire involved a house in Carbondale, another city in the area. This community has two fire units. One was at Herrin and the other responded to this latest blaze. In the extremity, a unit was called to Carbondale from Murphysboro for stand-by duty.
While this Murphysboro force was en route a mattress fire broke out in the Carbondale City Jail and a radio call went out to firemen battling the house fire to get the extinguishing job done and hurry to the jail house.
In Mount Vernon, Ill., two simultaneous fires on the 27th destroyed a house and a cafe several blocks apart. One man, 72, was killed in the dwelling fire.
Firemen were summoned to a fire in a cafe at 11:45 a.m. and a few minutes later the house fire was reported. Part of the Mount Vernon fire force was dispatched to the second blaze and off-dutyfiremen and units from nearby’ communities were called. Incidentally, one of the nation’s first successful mutual aid organizations was founded in that area. It was known as the Egyptian Fire Fighters Association.
Fire Chief Paul Partridge of Mount Vernon reported the cause of both fires was undetermined. Damages were not given.
Anyone skeptical about the value of mutual assistance pacts in time of simultaneous fires, might well ponder these incidents.