Kingston, Canada, Has a Bad Fire.
One of the worst fires in the city of Kingston, Canada, in some years occurred on Princess street, commencing at about 3:30 o’clock p. m., when the large hardware store and warehouse, as well as the stock, of W. B. Dalton & Sons, suffered serious damage. The fire started in the cellar of the front store, caused, it is said, by the tipping over of a coal oil lamp in the hands of one of the boys. The lad was so frightened that he ran out of the store and made no intimation to anyone of the accident. Shortly afterwards Mr. Dalton’s attention was drawn by the stenographer to smoke coming through the office floor. At first he thought it was only a match that had been ignited, but on investigation found fire raging in the cellar among the barrels of oil. It is difficult to say just how long the blaze had been burning before discovered, but it had gained great headway. The telephone message which the firemen received was very indistinct, but almost at the same time the call came at 3:40 o’clock, from box No. 7. When the firemen arrived the fire had made its way up the elevator at the rear of the front shop. The brigade started to fight the blaze at the rear and to protect the back warehouses and other wooden buildings. In all six streams were poured on the fire. The oil in the cellar made food for the blaze and the cartridges, which were stored on the other floors, began to discharge. About an hour after the fire began Chief Armstrong and his men, having then had the fire in the rear pretty well under control, turned their attention to the front of the building. One of the long extension ladders was raised and Fireman Cockade ascended with the hose, to the third story. He broke a window and the hose was played on the building from that quarter. A citizen on the scene said that the department had streams on the fire within seven minutes after its discovery. The stock of Dalton & Sons was valued at $50,000, upon wdiich there was insurance of $35,000. The property involved was valued at $75,350 and insured for $28,826. Chief James Armstrong has been chief of the Kingston department three years, during which time he has brought it up to a high plane of efficiency and the citizens are pleased with his services. The chief, who has been fighting fires for fifteen years, was born in Toronto in 1871 and fought his first fire in his native city, having joined the Toronto fire department in 1897. Kingston’s fire chief was grand chief templar of the grand lodge of Ontario for four years and was grand secretary of the dominion for a year and a half. In writing of the fire to this magazine, Chief Armstrong says: “The building was at about the center of the block of three-story stores on the east side, separated by a 9-foot lane. These buildings were occupied by several large firms as a tobacco store, wholesale and retail plumbing, tinsmithing and hardware, pool rooms, barber shop, picture store and two tailor shops, nearly all having offices or residences over them. On the west side and attached were five three-story buildings used as a drug store, with dentist and living rooms on second and third flats, next a large wholesale boot and shoe warehous e occupying two stores; next a dry clothes cleaning firm, and on the corner another large hardware store. In rear of this and extending back to the Dalton building is a large carriage repository. Across Princess street (66 feet wide), are fifteen large retail stores, all of threestory. Fire started about the center of the Dalton store in the basement and extended by way of the stairs and the elevator to all floors. The cellar was filled with oil barrels. The heat was intense and smoke stifling, and before the arrival of the fire department the large plate-glass in the front of the store was shattered by the heat and the smoke was pouring out of the windows on all three-floors. The fire was attacked front and rear, and practically never extended beyond the parts of the building where it was found on the arrival of the firemen. Six lines of hose, using 2,350 feet, with nozzles of 1 1/8 and 1 1/4-inch, were used, and eight ladders. Water pressures from four hydrants was ample for streams used. Loss has been adjusted at $28,826.35, with a total insurance of $67,350.”