LINDENHURST BURNED.

LINDENHURST BURNED.

“Lindenhurst,” John Wanamaker’s magnificent summer residence, on York road, between Ogontz and Jenkintown, Pa., has been destroyed by a night fire. The loss on building and contents may reach $2,500,000. It is certainly $1,500,000. Although the blaze was discovered before it had made any great progress, and the fire departments of Jenkintown and other nearby places responded promptly, the lack of water made their efforts futile. The two or three pitiably small streams which were finally procured and directed against the flames were of no avail. While much w’as saved, including two Muncacsky’s pictures— “Christ before Pilate” and “The Crucifixion”— many very rare and most valuable objects of vertu were either stolen—“as souvenirs”—or ruined in the process of removal. When the Jenkinlown and other fire companies reached the scene, water was nowhere to be had. The plugs were frozen, and, when they were finally thawed out, there was no force. If they had had a sufficient water supply, the firemen said, they could have extinguished the fire in a quarter of an hour and before the flames had spread from the rear to the main building. There was a plug at the front of the house at one corner of the porch; but the water was frozen. Another plug near the stable, in the rear, was in the same condition. The heat finally thawed these; but it was too late. To obtain water, one line was run from Meeting House road, more than half a mile away from the burning edifice. It was a thin little stream and it could be thrown only a few feet. The presence of a good many firemen made every one feel that the absence of water was the more exasperating. Firemen were there from Jenkintown, Abington, Ogontz and Branchtown. The city fire department responded from Branchtown, but not until about 9:15 p. m. By that time the main building was a mere skeleton, lighted up throughout by the flickering flames. A tall brick chimney remained in place till the last, while all round it charred window frames hung awry, and every few minutes a loud crash marked the falling of timbers. The heat was intense. Why such costly residences, filled with such priceless contents, are not properly protected by their owners is a mystery. Fire does not wait for the arrival of firedepartments or the unfreezing of fireplugs.

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