Fire Portection of the Plaza Hotel.
A test of the two 6-in. standpipes in the Plaza hotel was recently held under the supervision of J. C. La Vin, chief engineer of the establishment. The New York city firemen from enginehouses 23 and 26 helped with the hose. These engines also assisted in the pumping. Tile hotel engines in the basement are capable of developing a pressure of 150 lb. and of throwing a stream 319 ft. The city’s engine in Fiftyninth street developed a pressure of 100 lbs. These figures were registered by gauges attached to the nozzles of the four lines of hose used. Streams were thrown into Central Park to the north, and water was thrown on the roofs of the Hotel Savoy and the Bolkenhayn across the Plaza. In case of emergency the Plaza’s firefighting equipment could be used to protect the houses of Mrs. Vanderbilt, Mrs. Charles B. Alexander, and Elbridge T. Gerry. The Plaza itself could be enveloped in sheets of water. “The house engine alone (Chief Crokcr, who was present at the test, is reported to have said) is so powerful that in case of a fire we could have three or four streams of water on each of the seventeen floors of the building.” It is also a notable fact that none of the hose used burst. Four streams were thrown continuously for an hour, from the roof of the Plaza, three from the Fifth avenue side and one from the 59th street side. The house engine was run only at about half its capacity of 500 lb., and is reported as having pumped more water than the two engines of the city fire department pumped through the standpipes to the four lines of hose. The experts present were greatly pleased as well as surprised with the results of the test. Chief Croker, however, expressed the opinion that, while the hotel is “safe to a degree of certainty,” he doubted whether the plant would “have a very general sphere of usefulness.” He added: “There is no denying the enormous pressure possible with these engines, and in case of a neighboring fire the hotel could protect itself without assistance.”
At Marshall, Mo., fire damaged two buildings of the Missouri colony for the feeble minded and epileptic to the amount of $40,000. There is no fire apparatus at the institution, and the flames were conquered by a bucket brigade and confined to the upper floors of two buildings. Fire in the same institution a year ago caused a loss of $75-000. The cause of the last fire was defective electrical light wiring.