Fire in New York City Hall Tower
A difficult fire to handle occurred early one recent afternoon in the tower of the historic City Hall building in New York City. Fire Commissioner Adamson, who was in the City Hall when the fire was discovered, telephoned an alarm to the fire department. The tower is over the central portion of the building, in which is the famous governor’s room, containing costly paintings of George Washington, governors of the State of New York and others, and Washington’s writing desk and these were not damaged. It is believed that sparks from a charcoal furnace, which had been used by workmen employed on a repair job on the roof, were blown through an opening which had been cut in the roof for a skylight and set fire to the wooden supporting beams. The flames communicated to the base of the cupola and shot to the top. It was gutted, but remained standing. The commissioners from France, headed by M. Viviani and Marshal Joffre, had been received at City Hall the day before and the day after the British commissioners were received there, notwithstanding the fire. An early estimate of the damage was $25,000. The blaze was confined to the cupola, the top floor of the central structure and a small part of the west wing.