Extract Factory Damaged at Grand Rapids
Chief George Boughner, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was recently confronted by a difficult fire that took place in an extract factory. He handled it skilfully and kept the loss down. The factory is a four-story brick and wood structure, occupying a space 60×90 feet, with the rear running to a river. The front of the budding is used for offices, with wooden partitions, the north part was used for the storage of extracts, perfumes, ammonia, alcohol, two or three hundred barrels of oil and furniture finishing materials, and the rest of the building was used for manufacturing purposes. The fire started in the central part of the basement from an unknown cause and was discovered by a brakeinan on a passing train. He saw the flames is u ng from the windows and notified a train dispatcher a mile from the fire. The train dispatcher notified the fire department at 12:50 o’clock in the morning. Chief Boughner, on his arrival, saw the fire was raging in the whole of the basement and the open elevator shaft. The first fire company was stationed in the rear, while a chemical line was placed in front of the building to extinguish the fire in the elevator well. The fire had made such headway that ladders were burned before they could be moved from one to another part of the building. Chief Boughner immediately set a turret pipe and deluge sets before the front and north side of the building. Wires crossing the street made the placing of an 85-foot ladder, equipped with a gun, difficult, but when placed in position it did very effective work. Explosion after explosion took place, making the positions occupied by the firemen dangerous. Chief Boughner and his men received much credit for the able manner in which they handled the fire and extinguished it in short time. Four firemen were slightly injured during the fire. The following apparatus were in service: Five steam and one Seagrave motor pumping engine, the latter giving notably effective service. Four hydrants, with a pressure of sixty-five to seventy pounds, were available. Three hydrant streams were used. Eight thousand seven hundred and fifty feet of cotton rubber-lined hose were used, one length bursting during the fire. Seventeen engine streams were used, the three hydrant streams being replaced by engine streams. The difficulties encountered were lateness in calling the fire department, overhead wires, and the highly combustible contents of the building. The value of the property was $80,000 on building and $75,000 on contents. The loss on building was only $15,000 and that on contents was $65,000.