FIRE IN NEW YORK CLOTHING DISTRICT.
On the night of August 24, nearly a whole block front of business buildings in West Fourth street, between Mercer and Greene street, Manhattan, New York, was partially burned, a dozen firms sustaining damages in excess of $250,000. The buildings damaged were Nos. 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 West Fourth street. Nos. 15, 17 and 19 are an eight-story building and the other numbers a six-story building. The fire started in Nos. 21 and 23, the top floor of which is occupied by Dotiiger Bros., manufactures of hats and caps. They occupy the top floors of Nos. 25, 27 and 29 as well, doors through party walls connecting the rooms of the factory. The top floors of these buildings contained great quantities of cotton and wollen cloth and boxes of manufactured material. The fire started in a storeroom and had broken through the roof when policemen discovered it. There has been a strike on at the factory for the last three weeks, the employes fighting for a union shop; but the strikers arc not suspected of having started the fire. The flames set off an automatic fire alarm, and a moment later a window of the top floor was blown out. Deputy Chief Kruger was 011 hand on the first alarm and at once turned in a second and a third alarm. By that time the flames had spread with great rapidity through the building to the wall of the eight-story building to the east. The fire shot up into the air and assumed the shape of a mushroom or an umbrella. Chief Kruger got his men on adjoining roofs, and had the fire out in half an hour’s fight, and one hv one the lines of hose were being taken down. Then, suddenly, with almost explosive violence, the roof of the eight-story building to the east burst into flame. In another min ute the eighth-floor windows were spouting tire, and the heavy iron shutters, fused by the the heat, fell crashing to the street, narrowly missing the firemen. Chief Kruger turned in two additional alarms, and the two water towers ordered out, as the fire was in ftdl possession of the upper floors and had spread to the eight-story building running back to Waverly place front Mercer street and West 4th street. This building caught according to the firemen, through an improperly fastened shutter. The two upper floors were ruined. The contents of the lower floors of both buildings were damaged by water. The superiority of the present two-platoon system seemed to be demonstrated last night by the fact that thirtynine men were on reserve at the Mercer street station and had fire-lines formed almost at once, whereas under the three-platoon system a recent fire in the same neighborhood found only two men on reserve.