Lightning Ignites Cotton Warehouse at Fort Smith

Lightning Ignites Cotton Warehouse at Fort Smith

In the midst of a severe electrical storm recently. Chief M. J. Brun of the Fort Smith, Ark., fire department responded at 5.10 in the morning to a telephone alarm of fire to find the onestory frame and sheet-iron building occupied by the Fort Smith Cotton Compress Company ablaze, having been ignited by lightning. The fire burned for an hour and a half, destroying the property, involving a loss of $26,000. The sheds were used to store cotton in, but were empty at the time of the fire. They were constructed of wood with sheet iron and composition roofs. The main shed was 670 feet long, 70 feet wide and 18 feet high. There were two ells 175 feet by 52 feet and 120 feet by 60 feet, respectively. The roofs were of the sawtooth type. Brick fire walls separated these last from the main building. The fire was stoppde at the fire walls, The burned building was situated in the southwestern part of the city and fronted on railroad tracks. It was about 6 years old. A night watchman discovered the fire. His telephone bad been damaged by the lightning and he was obliged to walk twelve blocks to get to another telephone before turning in an alarm. Upon the arrival of Chief Brun and 23 firemen at the scene all of the sheds were. Two Metropolitan engines, 1 triple combination Robinson Jumbo and 3 American-LaFrance combination chemical and hose cars were used. There were three 4-inch two-way hydrants with a pressure varying from none to 40 pounds available, These were placed about 600 feet apart. Three engine streams were thrown. Three thousand and fifty feet of cotton rubber lined hose fitted with 1 1/8-inch nozzles were used. Three lengths of the hose burst during the progress of the fire. The water was furnished by a direct pumping system through a 4-inch main.

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