Former Soap Factory at Monmouth Makes a Hard Fire to Control
At Monmouth, Ill., on November 22, the building at 621 South First street caught fire from the explosion of a gas oven at 12.40 p. m., and so hot was the fire that after an hour and a half the structure was entirely destroyed. The accident occurred at the northeast corner of the second floor, the building being four stories in height, occupying 110x 150 feet, and was about 17 years old. Originally built and occupied as a soap factory, it was literally soaked with grease, and this fact accounted for the rapidity and fierceness of the flames. At the time the firemen arrived the entire structure was burning fiercely, and Chief Fred H. Barnes saw that the fire was practically beyond control. He devoted his energies to confining the flames to the building and preventing their spread to other structures. In this he was ably seconded by Former Chief T. A. Wilcox. The department consisted of four paid and twenty-five volunteer firemen, and the apparatus one type 75 AmericanLa France pumper, one Ford and one horse-drawn hose wagon and one ladder truck. The chief complained of lack of pressure from the 4-inch main. So bad was this that the firemen were compelled to lay two lines of 500 feet of hose each to a pond a block and a half away from the fire, and utilize the pumper to throw two engine streams on the fire. In all, 4,000 feet of hose were used. Six hydrant streams were thrown, using 1/2 and 1 1/8-inch nozzles. The only effective streams, however, were the two from the pumper, and it was probably owing to this fact that the building and its contents were a total loss. The building was valued at $75,000, and the contents at $278,000. The occupants of the building were: Maple City Manufacturing Company, Boss Manufacturing Company (makers of canton flannel mittens) and the Monmouth Company (machinery and materials).