Fatal Fire at East St. Louis

Fatal Fire at East St. Louis

Three firemen, Lieutenant John Conners and Pipemen Frederick Ford and Joseph Croneis, all of No. 1 Engine Company, East St. Louis, Ill., fire department, were overcome with smoke and gas and taken out dead at a fire which took place in the Commercial building, a three-story brick building, with wooden partitions, in the central part of the city, where it occupied a space 100 feet by 150. It was 20 years old, but, although of such an inflammable type internally, it had no sprinkler equipment. It was provided, however, with hand extinguishers and fire escapes, by means of which those employed in or occupying it might get out into the open in case of emergency. The cause of the fire is unknown and it was discovered by a private person at 9 o’clock p. m., when a telephone alarm called out the fire department. It burned for seven hours and was not stopped till it had burned from the basement, the place of origin, right up through the roof. The condition of the fire when the department arrived is best described by the words “very smoky.” The apparatus in action was as follows: Six engines, one aerial truck, eight hose wagons. Quite a number of hydrants, all in the immediate vicinity—were available. These were double and 6-inch, distant 150 feet from each other, and with a pressure at each of 80 pounds. Only one hydrant stream was thrown, but the engines threw 14, and these 15 streams formed the largest number thrown at one time. The water was furnished by direct pumping to a 24inch main laid in the street and in front of the building, the width of which was 60 feet. The hose in use was cotton, rubber-lined, and 18,000 feet of it were laid, of which only one length burst. In addition two turret pipes were used. The water supply was more than adequate to feed the engines and furnish good hydrant, turret-pipe and engine streams. The value of the property destroyed was $150,000; of the contents, $50,000. The loss on the buildings was $100,000; on contents, comprising office furniture, that and the regalia of the Elks’ clubrooms and the equipment of a photographer’s gallery, was $50,000.

Reading, Pa., is to have a paid fire department, at least a warm agitation is going on to that end.

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