Explosion and Fire at Minneapolis.
A recent explosion and fire, which almost destroyed the main plant of the General Electric Company at Minneapolis, Minn., injuring three men, caused an estimated loss of $580,000 and left the city in almost total darkness. The injured men will recover. The escape of eleven employes from the building after the explosion is a source of wonder. They were compelled to pick their way through a mass of charged and tangled wires, with flames burning all around them, and bricks tumbling down from all sides. The building is situated on Main street and Second avenue, southeast, and occupies 100×150 feet. It was two stories high, being built of brick about eighteen years ago. It had brick partition walls between the boiler house and main building. The fire was started in the first story by an explosion about 7:45 in the morning. An alarm was responded to by ten engine companies and four ladder trucks, while two turret nozzles and one universal nozzle were brought into use. Upon the arrival of the department the building was burning from top to bottom. There were pump and hose on the property, but these were not brought into use. Four 6-inch single hydrants, located only about 60 feet apart, were connected up, and with twenty engine streams at 60-pound pressure the flames were confined to the building in which they started, although the fire department had to work hard for twelve hours. Fifteen hundred feet of cotton, rubber-lined hose were laid, and at one time twenty-four streams were playing on the flames. The property was valued at $580,000 and contents $540,000, while the loss on building was $40,000 and on contents $540,000. The latter consisted chiefly of steam engines and dynamos.