Eleven Buildings in Reading Damaged
Fire which started in the Hoffa lumber yard at Seventh and Walnut streets, Reading, Pa., recently damaged eleven buildings including a cigar factory and rag shop. The loss was estimated at $52,000 on property valued at $140,000. The fire department, in command of Chief Engineer George W. Miller, had a very high wind, a narrow side street, about twleve feet wide, dense smoke and a small space to workin to contend with. The fire burned five hours and was stopped within five hundred feet of where it started. The fire had spread all over the place when the first apparatus arrived. Nine engines, eleven chemicals and two aerial trucks were in service and eighteen engine streams were thrown upon the fire. Four turret pipes were used and 3,000 feet of hose were used, three lengths bursting. The main building was a brick six-story structure, equipped with sprinkler and standpipe, fire escapes, fire tower and life nets, and has a brick partition wall. About four hundred people are employed in the building. Of the other buildings some were of brick and others of wood. The contents of the buildings consisted of furniture, lumber, cigars and rags. There was sufficient water with sixty pounds pressure at the hydrants. The water main is twelve inches and more than fifteen six-inch three way hvdrants were available. The fire occurred at about 10.30o’clock. The fire drill was sounded and all employees in the buildings escaped without panic.