Lightning Causes Church Fire in Oak Park
Lightning which struck the First Congressional Church at Oak Park, Ill., about 5.45 a. m., on September 5, caused fire which did about $100,000 damage to the structure and contents. A motorman on a street car sent the alarm to the department at 6 o’clock and the department responded with nineteen firemen and one AmericanLa France motor pumping engine, and one Thomas motor pumping engine. In addition two fire engines came from Chicago. Lieutenant Houven was in charge at the fire at first and then Chief H. J. Schoff arrived at 6.35 o’clock. The structure occupied 15,500 square feet and was built of stone and brick with interior walls of wood. It was erected in 1874 and was enlarged in May, 1914. The department which, on its arrival, found the steeple and upper part of the church afire, worked skilfully and the adjoining parish house and its contents escaped damage. Six hydrants, from 350 to 400 feet apart, were available and four engine and two hydrant streams were thrown, pressure at the hydrants being 45 to 50 pounds. The water main on the street is an eight-inch and there is a four-inch main on the side street. Three thousand feet of hose were in service. The fire burned four hours.