Gas Explosion Hurts New York Firemen.
An employe of E. G. Webster & Sons, silver platers, at Fifth and Atlantic avenues, Brooklyn, started to look for a leak in a gas meter with a lighted match in the cellar of the factory building one day last week. The odor of gas was very strong there. The fumes were ignited by the match, and immediately there was an explosion that shook the building and hurled William Laggett of 188 Lexington avenue, an employe, several feet backward, He was carried a few minutes later to the street, dazed and burned on his face and arms. Five minutes later, while three companies of firemen were in the cellar fighting a blaze caused by the first explosion, there was another, louder than the first. The firemen were knocked in all directions. Eleven of them were injured, and eight were taken to the Brooklyn Hospital, suffering from burns on the face, arms, and hands. No fire was caused by the second explosion. Firemen were in the street, and some of the less injured in the cellar assisted their unfortunate comrades out into the open. The second explosion occurred because some one carelessly forgot to turn off the gas in the main leading from the street into the building. The force of the first explosion opened a feed pipe in the cellar, and during all the time the firemen were there the gas flowed freely from this break. Deputy Fire Chief Lally, who was directing operations from the street, as soon as he learned that there was a leak somewhere in the feed pipe, ordered the men out of the cellar. His order came just a minute too late. Battalion Chief John A. Dooley and Lieut. Daniel Harrigan of Engine Company 126 entered the cellar at the head of the men of the engine company and Truck 55. Dooley was burned slightly on the hands. He returned to his quarters after he was treated by the ambulance surgeon. But Harrigan and Foreman George Kline of Truck 55 were burned on the face, arms, and hands, and were removed to the hospital. The fire loss was small.
A fire that seemed to have its origin in two different parts of the building, destroyed the men’s furnishing store of William A. Pearson, on Market street, Newark. N. J., recently, causing a loss estimated at $20,000. The blaze was confined to the store on the first floor and the cellar, but some damage was done to the stock of the Goodyear Rubber Company, in the building adjoining on the east. Chief Joseph E. Sloan said that it seemed to him there was one blaze in the cellar and another on the first floor. In the rear of the cellar, near a door, the blaze seemed to be the fiercest. Stock stored there was destroyed. In the store the fire gave most trouble in the center of the room. The floor was not burned through where the cellar blaze burned the hardest.