Heavy Loss in Bennettsville Fire
Lack of adequate fire equipment led to a heavy loss in the recent fire in Bennettsville, S. C., when the Atlantic Coast Line freight depot and cotton platform were almost destroyed. The building was 60×400 feet, of wooden construction and between 25 and 30 years old, which made it highly inflammable and had no private fire protection. The fire started from an unknown cause in the cotton platform at 11.45 p. m., and an alarm was sent out at once, but the flames spread so rapidly that when the lire department arrived, under command of Chief P. K. Meekins, the building, also was completely involved. Twenty-five men were engaged but Assistant Chief J. M. Carlisle reports that they had no steamers nor motor apparatus. There were three 4-inch double hydrants available, 300 feet apart, having a water pressure of 80 pounds. Four hydrant streams were thrown at one time, from 1 1/2 inch nozzles. Five lengths of the cotton rubber-lined hose burst during operation. The water system was direct pumping from standpipe and the street mains were 10inch on one street and 4-inch on the other. After 3 hours of hard work the men succeeded in stopping the fire in the building of origin and effectually prevented the flames from getting a hold on the adjacent property, which was worth approximately $200,000 and stood from 50 to 150 feet from the building involved. The property burned was valued at $150,000 and suffered loss of about $20,000. while on the contents, valued at $130,000 the loss was practically total.