Engine Spark Causes Lumber Fire
Fire at the B. B. Martin & Co., Lumber Yards, Lancaster, Pa., that amounted to a loss of $30,000 gave the new combination pumping engine a test of twenty-five hours. The firemen were called out at 6:30 a. m., Saturday, March 22, 1919, and upon arrival at the lumber yard they were confronted with about as stubborn a blaze as our firemen have had to handle for some time. After a few hours’ work it was evident that the flames would be confined to the dozen big lumber piles in the northern part of the yards, containing a million feet, the shedding, where a million feet of lumber was being stored, being safe. There were three lines of hose run to the fire of 900 feet each. It is thought that the fire started from a spark from an engine as the yard is located along the main line of the P. R. R.
The city of Lancaster boasts of having two new triple combination pumpers made by the American-LaFrance Company, ot Elmira, N. Y., one just recently being received and tested by their representative P. E. Zimmerman. The earlier of these went into service at a six-inch main about 6:30 o’clock on Saturday morning and ceased work at seven o’clock Sunday morning. The nozzles held a pressure of seventy pounds from the pumper, the plug pressure being 48 pounds. The total number of gallons thrown were 1,000,000. a little more than 500 gallons per minute. The pumper used 72 ½ gallons of gasoline and six quarts of lubricating oil. One man, Charles Schaeffer, of No. 5 Fire Company, operated the pumper during the entire time. During the same time a steam fire engine would have consumed twenty tons of coal and five gallons of lubricating oil, and would have required the services of six able-bodied men in firing and caring for the engine, with the doubt as to whether it could have maintained to the end of the run the same standard of efficiency with which it started. And this is not saying anything about the enormous amount of labor which would have been required after the steamer’s return to quarters. The pumper was back in service again within fifteen minutes after its return to quarters. The steamer would have required most of the day for a clean-up.
Valuable improvements have been made in all the stations of the Fire Department in the last five years and today Lancaster claims to be the first city entirely motorized. There are five Fire Companies with full equipment and one Ladder Company. There are 25 paid men and 36 call men who all are under the supervision and defection of Chief Win. E. Johnson. With the electrification of the pumping station the city is able to meet any demand when it comes to the use of water as they have a 24-hour pumpage of 25,000,000 gallons and an emergency electric pump at the East End Reservoir of 10,000,000 gallons.