FIRES OF IMPORTANCE
(Specially reported for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING)
The following are among the important recent fires occurring in various sections of the country which have been specially reported to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING:
Oil-Saturated Buildings Give Brockville Hard Fight
One of the most sensational fires in Canada, in years, was that which recently destroyed most of the largest carriage plants in the Dominion, located at Brockville, Ont. It was called the Canada Carriage Company, Limited, and occupied eight acres on the west side of the city close to the Grand Trunk Railway tracks. The alarm was given at 12.10 a. m., and was quickly responded to by the department under the chief, H. George Gillespie, but the fire had already gained such headway that, in the opinion of the chief, the rumors seemed to have a basis of probability which reported that a blaze had been seen in the sky forty minutes before the alarm was given. It was said that the watchman tried to extinguish the fire himsel: before calling fire headquarters, but tins he denies, stating that as he was making his rounds of inspection, he heard an explosion, which he traced to the bending department and dry kiln of the plant, and immediately gave the alarm. A second and third explosion followed in quick succession and it is believed that spontaneous combustion was the cause of the explosions and fire. The woodshop in which the fire began, was about 250 feet long, of wood and corrugated iron construction, and the department laid eight lines of hose in the endeavor to confine the flames to the point of origin. It was thought for a time that their efforts would be successful and that the remainder of the plant might be saved but they were hampered by a low water pressure caused, it is said, by the sprinkler System in use taking the water away from the hose. It was therefore found impossible to Jteep the fire from spreading to adjoining buildings of the plant and the gear department, a two-story cement structure was the next to go. It was feared that the 14 buildings owned by the company were all doomed. Most of them were old and of frame construction covered with corrugated iron and the contents—oil, paint, varnish and so on— were highly inflammable, while the floors were impregnated with the oil and chemical drippings of years, so that “it was a wonder that half the city did not burn, the blaze was so hot, and the flames shot so many feet in the air,” the chief commented. The department was hampered not only by the low water pressure, but also by the lack of proper equipment for fighting big fires. Chief Gillespie states that he has several times called the attention of the proper Officials to this lack but has not succeeded in having it remedied up to the present time, and his equipment consisted of one combination chemical engine, one city service truck, one Shand & Mason (London, England) fire engine and one Wright hose wagon. Six hydrants were available, 4 and 6-inch double, 240 to 400 feet apart, and 2,600 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose were laid. Chief Gillespie’s department was reinforced after a time, by 200 soldiers from the neighboring camp, under command of Lieut.Col. Harrison and by their united exertions, the fire was put under control after burning about four hours. The trimming shop, which is a threestory concrete block building, the lumber yards, main office, stables and storehouses were saved. The total loss is estimated at $500,000. In recognition of the skill and energy shown by the department, Chief Gillespie received a letter from Norman A. Hill, general manager of the plant, enclosing a check for $100for the Firemen’s Fund. The illustration shows the ruins after the fire.
Two new fire trucks, both motor, have been added to the Logansport, Ind., apparatus.