FATAL FIRE AT ERIE.
Early in the morning of August 26 a fire broke out in the Beck building, 1008 State st., Erie, Pa., the origin of which is hardly known, although it is believed by the fire department that it was caused by the stub of a cigar, which Captain H. McMahon, brother of Fire Chief McMahon, was smoking in bed. The fire was discovered by a special watchman, who saw smoke pouring out in volumes from the third-story windows of the building. A telephone and a regular fire alarm message reached the fire department headquarters at the same time, and, on the arrival of the firemen, ladders were at once run up to the windows and lines of hose carried up from the outside and up the front stairway to the room. The door was locked with a spring lock and had to be burst open by the firemen. Everything in the room was ablaze, and. when the flames were extinguished. the body of Captain McMahon was found lying face downwards and nearly completely incinerated. As the deceased was in the habit of smoking in bed, it is believed that he fell asleep in the act, and that the cigar set fire to the bed. The blaze was a fierce one. On one side of the room the plaster was so completely burned off that the bricks were exposed and the large panes of glass were broken. The flames broke through the rear hall and burned to the roof, and the store in the front part of the building was splintered. Chief McMahon was out of the city at the time. The sympathies of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING are extended to him and his immediate relatives.
The South Bend. Ind., city council will purchase a gasolene firepump, which will cost, including a scow on which the engine is to be placed, about $2,000. The apparatus is to be used as a fireboat, nearly all the business portion of the city being within reach from the water front,