Five-Alarm Fire Destroys Brooklyn Factory
A four-story and basement “V” shaped brick building at East New York Avenue and Sterling Place, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, in the city of New York, furnished fuel for a fifth alarm fire early on Monday morning, March 16, and it required 600,000 gallons of water and two hours of hard work to put it out. The building and contents arc a total loss.
The building, an old one of factory type, without sprinklers, standpipe or alarm system, but with a night watchman who had to be rescued from the third floor window on a ladder, was occupied mainly by manufacturers in the dry goods business. In the basement were a billiard parlor and tobacco store, on the first floor makers of boys’ blouses, 2nd floor, knit goods; 3rd, clothing, and 4th, overalls.
Fire started on first floor, which was entirely ablaze when Battalion Chief Elmer Mustard arrived on the first alarm, at 1:51 a. m. Chief Mustard sent the second call at 1:58, and the third at 1:59; Acting Deputy Chief Mooney sounded the fourth alarm at 2:17; Borough Chief O’Hara sent the fifth alarm at 2:26 o’clock. Acting Chief of Department Joseph B. Martin responded on the fourth alarm.
There were 16 engines and 4 trucks engaged in the fight and 12 engine companies changed location to “cover up.” The fire was through the roof in eight minutes and in 25 minutes the west and south walls were blown out, burying the hose tender of Engine Co. 283, and severing the overhead trolley wires on East NewYork Avenue. Twenty lengths of 2 1/2-inch and two lengths of 1 1/2-inch hose were destroyed.
The walls narrowly missed hitting many firemen, some of whom were manning wagou pipes on both sides of the building. One wall crumpled onto the roof of an adjoining garage and went through the roof. The wind was unusually high and carried sparks for some distance, which accounts for seven other fires in the vicinity. Most of these were roof fires. One of the fires was six blocks away in an awning and a street box was pulled for that one. The others were extinguished by police, citizens, fire fans and fire patrolmen.