INVESTIGATING YOUNGSTOWN FIRES.
Some time ago, as was reported in these columns, Youngstown, Ohio, was visited with fire, which destroyed the Hollingsworth and Callahan buildings in West Federal street and caused a loss of $477,192.23 and an insurance loss of $427,168.33. The insurance companies caused an investigation to be made as to the origin of the fire and its course. There was no means of exactly discovering the cause; hut, judging from the fact that in the basement of the McElroy building a fire was caused early in the evening and another in Barth’s candy store a short time before the big fire was di-covered, and all the buildings were supplied from the current from the same service, and the high wind is believed down the wire which did the damage, there seems no doubt that the conflagration was the result of crossed electric wires in the McElroy building. I be sprinkler system in the McKelvey store stayed the flames at that point. The report points out that the municipal authorities exercise very little regulation over outside construction, so that service companies string the live wires with but little regard to safety. The report further adverts to the extent of the fire line as demonstrating the inability of the fire department, with its present force of men and its present equipment to fight a serious conflagration. Good methods were used by careful and efficient firemen; but there were neither men nor apparatus enough, to say nothing of an insufficient supply of hose. The elevator-openings should be trapped and exposed windows and skylights protected with wireglass in metal frames or standard fire shutters, as was not the case in the McElroy basement, where the blaze started, or in the McKelvey company’s premises, where windows and skylights were not protected. Hence, the flames could not be prevented from spreading to other floors. In the congested-value strict the public-service wires should be placed underground, and the stringing of overhead wires regulated throughout the remainder of the city.
The Hudson, N. Y., Firemen’s home has been enlarged so as to provide thirty-two additional rooms.