Manchester’s Shingled Roofs.
A Springfield, Mass., man, an eyewitness of the recent big fire, thus speaks of it: “The fire started in a large frame rookery occupied by several families for tenements. Had it been covered with a slate or metal roof, the fire would have been at once extinguished with a property loss of a few hundred dollars; but with a wooden roof it was not long before these blazing shingles were being carried by the wind and lighting on other wooden roofs, and there was soon a very serious condition confronting the fire department. Two houses would be burning in one place, then five or six, would be skipped, and then one or two be burning in that locality, and, had the wind been unfavorable, it is frightful to think of the extent of the catastrophe which would have followed. Help was called from half a dozen cities within reach, and it may also be said that it was quite a scientific job of firefighting. These visiting fire companies were deployed over quite a wide area, wetting down roofs and gradually working in toward a common centre, and so the fire was controled and ex tinguished. Let me say here that I can take you to half a dozen spots in the immediate vicinity where a fire, once started and getting beyond immediate control, would sweep over a territory of such wide area as to make you shudder in its contemplation (and largely because of wooden roofs).”