HEAVY FIRE LOSS IN BOSTON.
During the week ending August 22 Boston sustained heavy losses from three fires, the worst of which was in a six-story factory building between Binford and Wormwood streets, South Boston. The building was occupied by a number of manufacturing concerns, much of the contents being of a highly inflammable nature. Over five hundred employes were working inside at the time of the fire, many of them barely escaping with their lives. The fire is supposed to have been caused by the explosion of a coal oil furnace in the basement of No. 4 of the group of five six-story factory buildings, known as the Wormwood buildings, facing on both Binford and Wormwood streets, and extending in column formation from A street to the tracks of the N. Y., N. H. & H. railroad. An alarm was immediately turned in. and promptly on the arrival of the apparatus a third and fourth alarm were sounded, followed soon after by an “automatic” turned in from an adjacent building, which brought to the scene all available men and apparatus. On account of insufficient water supply at this point, it was almost impossible to cope with the onward rush of the flames, even with the aid of the water towers, The service of this section conies from two twelve inch mains, and fire underwriters claim that at least twenty-inch mains should have been installed. I he buildings in this section are separated by short alleys about twenty-five feet wide, and had it not been for the modern fireproof shutters with which they are equipped, the whole section would have suffered heavy loss While the fire was at its height 1,500 gallons of oil, stored in a tank in the alleyway be tween No. 4 and 5, was discovered, and it was only by keeping the tank constantly drenched with water that an explosion was averted. At the city clerk’s office it is stated that no license is on record for the keeping and storage of oil on these premises. Fire Marshal Shaw states that the stories about an illegal amount of oil being stored in the building are false Building No. t was equipped with the firinnell sprinkler system, pressure-tank, and No. 5 was equipped with a Walworth system, pressure tank. On account of a water damage sustained two years ago, caused by a leakage, the trustee of the estate refused to install sprinkler svstems in the other buildings. To fight the flames the firemen had to stand kneedeep in boiling water for nearly four hours, and at times were completely hidden and seriously handicapped by the whirling and blinding black smoke. The loss was $400,000. and the fire was tile worst that had taken place since the Bigelow & Dowse fire of January last.