FLINT FIREMEN BATTLE FURNITURE STORE FIRE
Heavy Smoke Conditions Result in the Overcoming of Many of the Flint Men-Hazards of Winter Heating-Record of Week’s Burnings
BADLY hampered by the dense smoke from the burning stock of varnished wood, many firemen were overcome and four were severly injured in the fire which originated in the Doty-Salisbury furniture store, in the center of the mercantile district of Flint. Mich., on December 20. The first alarm was received at 2:10 by ’phone and as soon as Chief Edward H. Price arrived on the scene, he at once, seeing the seriousness of the blaze, sent in a general alarm summoning practically all of the apparatus of the city. The fire at this time was blazing throughout the entire basement and it was impossible for the firemen to get at the seat of the fire, in spite of the fact that several were overcome by the smoke in their attempts to do so. The building was of four stories, constructed of brick and wood. There were 85 men at the fire and the apparatus consisted of six American-LaFrance triple combination pumpers. There were plenty of 6-inch double hydrants, spaced from 100 to 300 feet apart, with a pressure of 70 pounds at the hydrant. Fifteen engines steams were thrown with nozzles up to 1 1/2 inches and supplied by a 24-inch street main. Some 8,000 feet of 25 1/2-inch hose were laid and a deluge set was utilized during the progress of the fire.
The fire spread rapidly, after it was first discovered by a clerk in the furniture store, and many Christmas shoppers and employees were sent hurrying into the street. Within half an hour after the fire had started it swept up an elevator shaft and mushroomed at the roof. From the Doty-Salisbury building the fire spread to the Robert W. Selleck Company drug store, adjoining, and the stock of the drug store was very badly damaged. The firemen prevented the destruction of this building, however, and the fire was stopped at the Doty-Salisbury store.
An amusing incident in connection with the fire was when a secretary of the Genesee County Tuberculosis Association volunteered to take one of the overcome firemen home in her automobile. When they arrived at the fireman’s house, they were met at the door by his wife who angrily demanded to know who the young woman was and what she meant by taking her husband riding in an automobile. Explanations and apologies followed. The loss on building and contents was estimated at $175,000.