FILM BLAZE IN CHICAGO
Chief O’Connor Skilfully Keeps Loss Down, Saving Nearby Structures.
Chief Thomas O’Connor, of the Chicago, I11., fire department, commanding about two hundred men, at a recent fire which threatened to consume the modern fireproof twenty-story Consumers and Baltimore Buildings and to spread to still other buildings in the immediate vicinity, by promp_____ and concerted action succeeded in keeping a possible loss of approximately $1,825,000 down to $525,000. The damaged biddings which were constructed of terra cotta, with partition walls of tile, housed a quantity of inflammable film, and when the firemen arrived in response to a box alarm turned in at 8.11 a. m., one explosion had already occurred, blowing out some of the windows and facilitating the spread of the fire to buildings across an intervening alley, where other explosions followed. The buildings involved occupied a space 75 ft. by 150 ft. at 220 State street (at that point 120 feet wide) which is in the heart of the city. The fire started from an unknown cause on the fourth floor, rear, of one of the buildings, and burned steadily despite all efforts of the firemen for three hours and a half, in the meantime the great heat melting the wire fire resisting glass windows and the fire eating its wav through the apertures to the adjoining building. Streams were directed from 65-foot aerial ladders, and fire escapes, also an interior standpipe was put into service. The fire called out 24 engine companies, 5 truck companies, 2 squads and one water tower. Seagrave, AmericanLa France, Ahrens-Fox pumping engines all did excellent work according to a statement issued by Chief O’Connor after the fire. There were 20 4-inch double hydrants having a pressure of 40 pounds each and about 200 feet apart accessible to use by the firemen. Twenty-two engine streams were thrown. Five hundred feet of cotton rubber-lined hose fitted with 1 1/8-inch to 1 1/2-inch nozzles, were used. Water was furnished by a 36-inch main fed by a standpipe system. Before the fire the damaged property was valued at $1,250,000 and the contents of the buildings made up largely of films, at $575,000. The loss is estimated at $25,000 on the buildings and $500,000 on the contents. One life was saved by running the elevator up to the fifth floor through dense smoke and fumes.