Firemen Stand By at $50,000 Fire

Firemen Stand By at $50,000 Fire

Fourteen dismissed Woburn, Mass., call firemen stood idle and watched a §50,000 fire sweep through a fourteen story abandoned tannery and also destroy or damage some fifteen other buildings.

They refused to assist in fighting the fire that threatened the entire Woburn Highland section, because they were told that such action might interfere in their legal battle against Mayor W. E. Kane. These firemen bad been dismissed many months ago by Mayor Kane who advocates college students as a volunteer force supplementary to the nucleus of permanent men. Spokesmen for the call firemen have warned them against assisting in fighting fires and have forbidden them to ride the truck.

Fire Chief M. J. Kane, the Mayor’s brother, summoned aid from the neighboring towns of Medford, Winchester, Stoneham, and Reading. While help was on the way, men, boys and even women helped in coupling hose lines.

The fire started in the abandoned tannery building when a spark from a torch, which was being used in the dismantling of machinery, dropped on some oil and grease. Before the work ers could extinguish the blaze, it had spread rapidly due largely to the absence of windows which had been removed when the plant was abandoned. Work of the firemen was made hazardous by dangling live wires from burned light poles.

Extinguisher Becomes Maternity Ward A robin ignored the traditional building architecture and made a nest in the plant of Merck & Co., manufacturing chemists, at Rahway, N. J. The nest was on an extinguisher, within three feet of a busy flow of traffic. When discovered, a Quiet Zone sign was placed near the nest, and to prevent any interruption, another extinguisher was placed nearby for possible fire use. A brood of three robins were hatched in this nest.

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