Incendiary At Halifax.
Firebugs are doing some very effective work in Halifax, N. S. Within a month, losses approximating $1,000,000 have been caused by fires in that city which, from all indications were started by this class of criminals. On December 30. the King Edward Hotel went down under flames with a loss of $60,000 on the building and $40,000 on the contents. In a communication to Fire and Water Engineering from our regular Halifax correspondence, the following, data is given: King Edward Hotel occupies a ground space of 110×65 feet, five stories high, and was constructed about nine years ago. The fire was discovered about 7:50 p. m. on the third floor, having started from a defective chimney. The first alarm came in from box seven, immediately, and was answered by six steamers, three chemicals, nine hose wagons, three ladder trucks, two English, one Silsby, two Amoskeags and one Waterous. When the department arrived at the scene of the fire the hotel seemed to be doomed. However, seventeen streams were immediately started, thirteen from the engines and four from hydrants; 9,000 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose being laid. With nozzles one and one-eighth, one and one-quarter and two inches in size, and the water pressure at twenty pounds, the fire department went to work with exceptional enthusiasm, notwithstanding the night was extremely cold. On the street upon which the hotel is located there are a six-inch and a nine-inch main. For seven hours the firemen battled bravely to confine the fire to the hotel, although it was obvious from the start that the building itself could no be saved. There were twenty-five people employed in the hotel, who with the guests made successful escapes. There was some slight private fire protection, but it was of little use on this occasion, and the building was also equipped with fire escapes. The wind was blowing at a thirty-seven mile clip, and the flames having started on the third floor between the walls near the roof, before we got a line of hose laid, they swept with rapidity to adjoining structures. The hotel was located on the right side of a hill and water pressure was very low at the start, thus preventing us having sufficient supply to make our work felt at the outset of the fire. The water department, however, increased the pressure, but it was found necessary to let the hotel go and the attention of the firemen was directed to buildings that were burning on both sides of another street. To give the reader some idea of the job that the department had on hand it may be said that there were present at that time nine small fires burning in different parts of the city, each of which had evidently been started for a purpose. One of these fires was in a wholesale paper store, four blocks from the hotel, the cause of whiph is not known.