Lumber Yards Figure in Two Threatening Fires
Brooklyn Borough, New York. Has One in Its Williamsburg Section Ridgefield, N. J., Fire Necessitated Outside Help—Week’s Burnings
A LUMBER yard fire which necessitated a borough call and was one of the most threatening fires that the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn Borough, New York City, has had to combat in some time, took place on June 11 in Seigel Street, Bushwick Avenue and White Street and destroyed, besides the lumber yard, a six-story factory building. For a time it was feared that the fire would sweep the whole of the Williamsburg section but the small army of men and apparatus summoned by Chief Kenlon, who arrived on the fourth alarm and who at once sent in the borough call, confined the flames to the lumber yard and the building. A police sergeant, who first saw a lumber pile ablaze near the main gateway to the yard, ran to the nearest box and pulled an alarm. When Deputy Chief John O’Hara arrived the flames had jumped from the blazing lumber to the empty ground floor of the factory building and the chief saw that his men were in for a hard fight and also that if the tenements which surrounded the yard once became involved the whole district might have to go. He pulled in quick succession a second, third and fourth alarm. When Chief Kenlon reached the scene, the firemen were bending their energies to keeping the tenement houses from catching fire, by interposing water curtains between them and the great heat of the burning lumber and of the factory building. The tenants of all these houses were hustled out by the police and scurried to place of safety carrying what they could of their household belongings.
Soon after the arrival of Chief Kenlon, the roof of the factory fell in and a moment later there was a warning cry and the firemen at work around the building had just time enough to escape a shower of bricks and plaster, as a side wall of the factory toppled. The other wall followed and soon after, the rear wall collapsed. Thousands of feet of soft wood were stored in the lumber yard which burned with great rapidity and with intense heat. In three hours every stick of lumber in the big yard was flame-swept.
Besides the tenements, Public School No. 147 at Bushwick corner and the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Pompeii at the White Street corner, were badly threatened before the fire was brought under control. Ladders were run up to the roof of both edifices and firemen continually wetted them down, to prevent the burning embers starting a fire at those points. That there was no casualties was considered remarkable, only three persons being slightly injured, two of whom were firemen and the third a civilian. Great crowds watched the fire, which was a spectacular one, and this gave the police all the trouble they wanted in keeping the throngs under control. The destruction was so complete in the lumber yard that it was practically impossible to tell what was the origin of the fire. The loss was estimated at about $200,000.
Lumber Yard Destroyed at Ridgefield
A fire, which threatened the little town of Ridgefield, N. J., broke out in a lumber yard in that city on May 27 and as it had been burning some time before the alarm was given, the Ridgefield department found the work of extinguishing it more than it could accomplish. Help was called from several towns nearby and the apparatus and men were rushed to Ridgefield on trains. The airplane view herewith gives a very good idea of the extent of the fire and of the conditions which the firemen were compelled to face in saving the town, which they accomplished though their joint efforts. The loss of the lumber company was heavy.