Heading Mill Fire in Clarksdale

Heading Mill Fire in Clarksdale

The Duff & Hetzler Heading Mill at Clarksdale, Miss., was destroyed by fire recently at a loss of $50,000. The fire broke out in the dry kiln of the mill at 9.52 p. m., and was discovered by one of the workmen. On account of there being no street on any side of the mill great difficulty was experienced in getting the apparatus to the scene. Railroad tracks had to be crossed three times. The mill was a wooden structure, one story in height, on a space 100 by 80 feet, on the outskirts of the city, with a five-acre field adjoining containing 160 trucks of heading ready for the kilns, with about 1,500 pieces on each truck. These trucks were saved through the good work of the department. Chief John Donohue responded to the factory whistle alarm and summoned his full force, six men, with the Seagrave combination chemical and hose wagon. Three 4-inch double hydrants were available, 300 feet apart. Four hydrant streams were thrown through 1,800 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose with 1 1/8-inch nozzles. A pressure of 90 pounds was obtainable from the direct pumping system of the town’s supply. The fire burned for nine hours and was finally checked at the saw shed of the mill. Many of the 200 people employed in the mill had to be helped from the building but no lives were lost. Chief Donohue was highly commended for his success in confining the fire to the mill under the great difficulties which confronted him with his small force. The Sunflower Lumber Company across the tracks was threatened several times, but by bard work the fire was checked.

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