Fires at the World’s Fair.
“ What does it now cost to run the exposition?” was asked of Director-General Davis of the World’s Fair.
“ It costs just about $18,000 a day .now, but an average in the past has been far above that. When we were building we spent $40,000 and more a day for weeks, and money had to flow like water. We have labored under great disadvantages.
“ All the work has been done under the eight-hour law, and that law has increased the expenditures of the fair over $1,000,000. The trades unions have regulated our prices, and we paid double wages for the work we had to have done on Sunday in order to get ready in time.
“ A large amount has to be paid out for guards, police and detectives. We have about 200 detectives and 1600 guards. The number of guards has been criticised as being too large, but we need them to provide against fire. The statue, ‘ Fire controlled,’ above this building is typical of our work. We have here on these grounds one of the most inflammable cities in the world, and one of the most dangerous as regards loss of life. Suppose a fire should break out in the manufacturers’ building, machinery hall or the electricity building, and should gain headway. Think of the electric wires charged with hundreds upon hundreds of volts of electricity that might fly about as wild wires.
“If we were not prepared for them they would deal death at every touch. Why, some of those wires are charged up to 1000 voltage. One of them broke the other day and fell into a pond covering nearly an acre of ground. A man was standing in the waters of this pond a good distance from the wire. He is now laid up with a sore leg coming from the electric shock lie got at that time. I have it now arranged so that these wires can all be deadened at once.
“If it were not so and a fire should break out the results would be more terrible than any conflagration of history. We have already had fifty fires, but they have been put out so promptly that the people have never heard of them. As it is our fatalities have been very few. We have had in round numbers 7,000,000 people on these grounds.”