Fire Gets Beyond Sprinklers at Chicopee

Fire Gets Beyond Sprinklers at Chicopee

A recent fire which started in the drying room of the Dana S. Courtney bobbin factory on the north side of the Chicopee river at Chicopee, Mass., had already communicated from the drying room to part of the plant not sprinkled when the fire department, commanded by Chief John E. Pomphret, arrived. He found the fire in a very dangerous condition and had a number of difficulties to contend with, including the great headway gained by the flames, the inflammable nature of materials, large lumber piles and the inability to fight the fire from all the sides, the plant being built on the bank of the river and at high wind, which greatly handicapped the firemen, but they succeeded in saving part of the building. The plant occupied half an acre and the building, which was twenty years old, was one, two and three stories high and was built of wood with several w’ooden partition walls. The fire was discovered by employees shortly after 9 a. m., and an alarm was sent in by telephone. Chief Pomphret had eighty-seven firemen at the fire and three motor pumping engines, which did very efficient service, three ladder trucks, four hose wagons and two squad cars. Two of the motor pumping engines are of Knox make and the other a Robinson. Two pumped from a canal and one from a hydrant. Six streams, four of which were engine streams, were thrown. Cellar pipes were used. The water system is gravity from a standpipe into which it is pumped. Two hydrants, 250 feet apart and with an average pressure of sixty pounds were available One hundred and fifty peoole are employed at the plant but none was injured. The plant had chemical extinguishers and a hydrant in the yard. The contents of the establishment included bobbin machinery, wood, stock, varnish, paint, oil, alcohol and shellac. The value of the property destroyed was estimated at $150,000. The fire burned forty-eight hours and Chief Pomphret and his men stopped it near the third floor.

Chief John E. Pomphret, Chicopee, Mass.

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