Fire Caused by Water.
In two cases destructive fires have been caused by water, says The Architect and Builder. In one of these, a flood caused the water to rise high enough in a factory to reach a pile of iron filings. The filings, on contact with the water, oxidized so rapidly that they became intensely heated, and then set fire to the neighboring woodwork, and the building destroyed. In the other case, the water from the engines, during a fire, found its way into a shed containing quicklime, and the heat generated by the slaking of the lime set fire to the shed, and this to other buildings. Quicklime fires, however, are not uncommon. Many vessels carrying quicklime have probably been burned by the admission of water to the lime through a trifling leak, and no architect or builder needs be told how intense the heat of slaking lime may be. Glass globes, which act as lenses, often set fires, and it has recently been claimed, on high authority, that the convex glasses used in sidewalk-lights are dangerous, and should be abandoned in favor of lights with flat tops. As the convex glasses receive and transmit much more light than the flat ones, particularly in muddy weather, it seems hard to be obliged to give them up, and perhaps a lens might be made, convex on the outside and concave on the inside, the concavity being equal to or greater than the convexity, so that rays of sunlight would either pass through unchanged in direction, or would be dispersed instead of being concentrated, so as to unite the advantages of the convex form with complete security.