Fire on Connecticut River
The surface of the Connecticut River was afire at Springfield, Mass., just after dusk August 31, displaying pyrotechnics all its own for five minutes, while boatmen on the docks left their craft to burn and ran for their lives. A leaky 100-gallon gasoline tank under a float in front of the canoe club, aided and abetted by a spark from somewhere, was the direct cause. The oil had sheeted the river from the canoe club 100 yards down stream to the foot of Elm street when the spark struck. Then there followed a swift flash of flame, which spread over the river, lighting up the surrounding country with a pale illumination and giving off a column of smoke. A squad of clubmen grabbed the hand extinguishers and spurted at the lake of flames, saving the floats until the fire department arrived. The flames surrounded everything burnable on the river. Two hydrant streams and chemical streams were soon blowing the flames upstream and into the shore, and over a dozen burning rowboats which were huddled inside the canoe club’s float, until the gasoline burned itself out. None of the river craft was lost, although a number of boats started to float down stream when their rope painters were consumed.