FIRE SWEEPS THRU BUILDING IN 4-ALARM PITTSBURGH BLAZE
Many of the New Pieces of Apparatus Used in Fire Emergency Squad Does Effective Work Buildings Burn for Almost Nine Hours
FIRE swept the three top floors of a double eight-story brick warehouse, located at 317 and 319 First Avenue, in the downtown business district of Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 16. It gave the firemen a hard two-hour battle and caused a loss of more than $100,000 before it was brought under control.
The fire started from some unknown cause, originated probably on the sixth floor of the building at 317 First Avenue; it had made considerable headway when discovered and was rapidly spreading to the upper floors when the first company arrived.
Firemen of the first alarm companies making their way into the building and up the stairway to the seat of the fire with their lines of hose, found their attempt to attack the fire from the inside of the building in vain, when the fuse links connected to the fire doors on the enclosed stair case at the fifth floor burned through, dropping the doors down over the stair opening and stopping further progress of the firemen to the upper floors of the building.
Fifteen engine companies, one emergency squad company, three truck companies and one water tower company, called on the four alarms were required in subduing and bringing the fire under control.
Approximately 267 uniformed firemen, consisting of the following classifications, were on duty at the fire, both the night and day shifts or platoons, due to change of turns at 8 :00 a. m. They remained on duty and worked hard until about 10:00 a. m. without any direct orders being issued to them by the Chief Officers in charge.
The force included the chief of department, two deputy chiefs, eight battalion chiefs, thirty-eight captains, twenty-eight pumpmen, two enginenten, two assistant enginemen, twelve drivers, one hundred and thirty-seven hosemen, twenty-one laddermen, twelve chiefs aides and four fuel truck drivers.
Twenty-four pieces of fire apparatus, all motor driven and tractor drawn, of the following makes and types were in service at the fire.
One Ahrens-Fox, 1,000-gallon pumper; seven AmericanLaFrance, type 12 1,000-gallon pumpers; six American-La France, 750-gallon pumpers; one 700-gallon Metropolitan steam fire engine drawn by an American-LaFrance, two-wheel front drive tractor; one Deluge combination hose, turrett and water tower wagon, drawn by an American-LaFrance, two-wheel front drive tractor; one American-LaFrance, hose and turrett wagon; one Hale, hose and turrett wagon; one American-LaFrance, hose and chemical wagon; one American-LaFrance, 85-foot, aerial truck: one seagrave 85 aerial ladder, drawn by an American-LaFrance four-wheel tractor; one American-LaFrance, 75-foot tractor drawn aerial truck; one American-LaF’rance, emergency squad wagon and one sixty-five foot Champion water tower.
Of the above apparatus in service at the fire, eleven pieces consisting of six l,000-gallon (new Metropolitan type) triple combination gasoline pumpers, three 750-gallon tripie combination gasoline pumpers, one 85-foot tractor drawn aerial truck and the emergency squad wagon were all new AmericanLaF’rance apparatus just recently installed out of a total of thirty new pieces now being delivered by that company.
One of the outstanding features, was the efficient service performed by the new Emergency Squad Company No. 1. This company was just put in service April 16th, and is the first of its kind to be installed in Pittsburgh. Upon their arrival at the fire, the new company performed most efficient and excellent service with their water-proof salvage covers.
The firemen, tinder the direction of Chief Richard L. Smith and his officers, fought the fire in an efficient manner from all sides, and from the roofs of adjoining structures.
The fire was fought from the First Avenue end of the building by several high-powered fire streams. Here the fire was at its worst.
First Avenue, which is a narrow thoroughfare, only forty feet wide, was somewhat of a hinderance to the fire department; it prevented the firemen from getting the large deluge wagon back far enough to get a proper angle for the deluge streams. Flames raging out through the front windows, chipped pieces of stone off the building by the intense heat, and pieces of the heavy copper cornice. Work of the firemen in front of the building became dangerous. The 85-foot aerial ladder of Truck No. 1 which was extended in front of the burning building had about seven-feet of the extreme end of the fly ladder badly burned and charred by the sudden rush of flames from the windows of the top floors. A Baker cellar pipe on the truck was badly damaged by a falling piece of stone as were a number of smaller ladders. As soon as the fire on the upper floors was cooled down enough by the powerful deluge streams, firemen, by means of the aerial ladders, got in on the upper floors with their lines of hose.
The burned building was a modern eight-story brick structure of the slow burning type of construction, with an ornamental brick, stone and terra cotta front, facing twenty-five feet on First Avenue, and extending back a distance of eighty feet, half way through the block, where it butted up against an eight-story brick building of similar type and construction.
The fire burned for almost nine hours.
Two more views of this fire are shown on the following page.
New Chief for Shelby, N. C.—E. B. Roach will be head of the fire department of Shelby, N. C., when the new city administration will go into office in June.
Some of the Sales Made by W. S. Nott Co.—The recent sales of the W. S. Nott Company are as follows: Leveland, Tex., International Falls, Minn., Arlington, Minn., Knoxville, la., and Cuba City, Wis.
New Chief for Charlotte, N. C.—After ten years of service as chief of the fire department in Charlotte, N. C., Chief M. M. Wallace has been relieved of duty as the result of a political shake-up in the new city administration. Hendrix Palmer, assistant chief, has been advanced to chief. The number affected as the result of the upheaval has been unusually light, for many saw the turn of events and resigned in time to escape the political axe.