Kodak Plant Has Another Fire
Fire, originating in a wooden air conditioning tower atop the 7-story Eastman Kodak Camera Works building on the morning of July 14, last, was fought jointly by the Kodak plant fire brigade and a two-alarm assignment of Rochester, N. Y., firemen under Chief John Slattery.
Over 7,000 workers vacated the premises when the alarm sounded, most of them remaining to watch fire fighters bring the smoky, hard-to-reach blaze under control. The fire was discovered about 9:30 A. M. by workers on the 16th floor of the adjoining Kodak Tower building on State Street. The plant alarm brought fire wardens and local firemen, who were joined by Rochester forces from Battalion 2 under Batt. Chief Francis Fox. Fox called for more equipment on a second alarm seven minutes later and five ladders, eight pumpers and additional fire units converged on the scene.
The blaze, which raged 100 feet above the street, was confined to three large air conditioning towers. Investigators, unable to pinpoint the cause, surmised that failure of one of the giant fans, or an overheated motor, might have been the source. At any rate, the fans themselves reportedly fanned the flames, which spread from one to another of the units and upon the custom made construction of redwood. The towers are used to cool off hot water drawn from the basement air conditioning machinery. Three-bladed fans, 15 feet in diameter, surmount the towers, drawing fresh outside air through the streams of water in the towers.
Flames leaped the 10 feet aisles separating the towers until all three were involved. The resultant fire and smoke could be seen from a considerable distance and led to reports of another serious fire in the vast plant. (Last November a stubborn blaze caused an estimated $2 million loss in a building where sensitized paper is manufactured.)
Fire fighters laid out over a mile of hose and attacked the fire from ladders and from the street level, as well as from the roof and the interior of Building 16 on which the towers are located. Building 16 manufactures cameras and film magazines, and contains some offices. The fire was brought under control within half an hour, but not before considerable water found its way into part of the structure.