Explosion at Fire at New Bethlehem
Despite the fact that he had no equipment but 950 feet of hose to work with, Chief C. W. Cribbs, Jr., probably would have saved the Red Bank Flour Mill and Electric Light Plant, of New Bethlehem, Pa., from destruction on February 7 were it not for an explosion which broke all of the windows in the building and gave the fire draughts from four sides. The building was a three-story wooden structure, occupying 110 by 68 feet of space and was 38 years old. The blaze started on the second floor from an unknown cause and owing to the building’s age and consequent dryness, spread so rapidly that a large part of the second floor was already in flames by the time Chief Cribbs and his department arrived. The building, valued with its contents at $110,000, was completely destroyed despite the efficient efforts of the chief and 21 firemen. There were two streams of water thrown on the fire, the nozzles being ⅝ inch in size. Chief Cribbs praised the water pressure. The water main on the nearby streets was six inches in size while the hydrants were four-inch double.