FOURTH OF JULY BLAZE IN BROOKLYN.
The collapse of a fire balloon sent up from Coney Island on the night of the Fourth of July is held responsible for the fire that completely destroyed the one-story brick factory of the Vehicle Equipment company, at Thirty-seventh street and Thirteenth avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y., with its machinery and contents. Among the latter were seventy-six large touring automobiles and auto-wagons for commercial concerns. The flames were discovered at 3:55 a. m., on Tuesday, but, through some defect, as is alleged, in the mechanism, the fire alarm box did not work, and another alarm bad to be turned in from a box a block away. Ten minutes were thus lost, and when the department arrived the whole building was ablaze. Six watchmen had been employed to guard against the dangers of the Fourth, and the balloon that caused the mischief was only one of several that fell near the building. The fatal balloon lit on the roof, igniting a large sign, and the fire spread at once. The watchmen were forced back, and the flames at once penetrated to the interior of the factory, in which were stored barrels of oil, varnish and other combustibles. One fireman was overcome by the heat and carried off to the engine house. The others had to exercise the greatest of caution, owing to the presence of so many electric wires. The adjoining private dwellings on Thirty-seventh street were in danger for some time, and were cleared by the police. But the fire was kept to the one place.