Loss By Water at Seattle Fire.
The readers of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING will remember the report on the fire in the Manufacturers’ Exchange building, Seattle, printed in this journal soon after its occurrence, early in October. It was also stated how the Association of Chiefs of the Pacific Coast, in convention in Seattle at that time, passed resolutions commending Chief Bringhurst for his handling of the fire. There is one phase of the altair, however, that has not received the attention it deserves, and that is Chief Bringhurst’s regret, which he has since expressed, that he found it necessary to occasion so much loss of property by water. The fire, it will be remembered, was on the sixth floor, among a large stock of crated furniture, and it was found necessary to bring the water tower into action to keep the fire down. This was done, and, owing to the faulty construction of the building, the water, instead of finding scuppers, went down through the floors soaking the contents of the whole building. The lack of scuppers is not the fault of Chief Bringhurst, but we think it decidedly professional and becoming on his part to regret the loss by water. Until he found the situation impossible he did all be could to fight the fire at close range and with the minimum amount of water. To be sure, extinguishing the fire was the first consideration, and it was done; but, at the same time, a desire to occasion the minimum loss by water was certainly commendable. It seems worth while to cite this instance for the reason that there appears to be an increasing tendency in some quarters to extinguish small tires with a seemingly wanton prodigality of water, when a less quantity, applied with good judgment would suffice. So the instance above, wherein an able chief considered that it was his duty, so far as circumstances would allow, to obviate loss by water as well as by fire, is cited as evidence that the tendency is not all one way. The problem of how much and where best to apply water is one of the niceties of the firefighting profession—at least, we believe it has been considered so—the question is. Have we out grown it?