Gilbert Block Fire, Grand Rapids.
The Gilbert block at Monroe and Commerce streets, nearly in the centre of the ciay of Grand Rapids, Mich., was recently damaged about $140,000 worth by fire. The building, which was 6-story and constructed of brick, steel and wood, and was not sprinklered, had been erected for eighteen years and, as a department store, occupied a space of 66 ft. on Monroe street, 198 ft. on Commerce street and 124 to the rear. The fire, the cause of which was unknown, originated on the third floor, and, when the first pieces of apparatus arrived, the flames were burning fiercely on the third and fourth floors and had made their way by the elevator-shaft to the roof. There were on hand to tight the blaze 9 engines -Metropolitan, American, American-La France, Waterous, Continental—10 hose wagons of local make, 3 trucks—2 Grand Rapids, and a La France aerial—and 2 Muskegon chemical engines. There were available 10 5-in. and two 6-in. 3-way hydrants, distant from each other from 90 to too ft. and with a pressure of 65 lb. Five hydrant and 14 engine streams—19 at one time were thrown. The nozzles used were -in. to 2-in.—2 deck-nozzles and 1 standpipe being employed. Eleven thousand, seven hundred and fifty feet of cotton rubber-lined hose were laid; not a length of which burst while in use. The main of the gravity system, laid on the 66-ft.-wide street in front of the building furnished water enough for good hydrant streams and to supply the engine. The insurance was more than sufficient to cover the loss on the department store building and offices, with their contents.
Calgary, Alberta, where, in common with other cities in that new Province, there is an excellent fire department, praises through its press the diligence and industry of the firemen of No. 3 fire-hall, who are so tastefully laying out the grounds round that building. The Herald says that these “firemen are among the best examples that we have of the truth of the quotation that ‘they also serve, who also stand and wait,’ and the less they have to do to earn their salaries the more contented are the general public.”