Mayor Gaynor Sees Firemen at Work.
Traffic on the Third avenue elevated and the Third avenue and Fifty-ninth street crosstown lines, in New York, was stopped for more than two hours Tuesday night by a fire which threatened a heavily built-up section southwest of Fifty-ninth street and Third avenue. The fire, which did damage estimated at upward of $200,000, completely destroyed an L-shaped building formerly occupied by the H. V. Monahan Furniture Company and in process of being remodeled for a moving picture theater. Four alarms called out the largest amount of fire apparatus employed to combat any blaze within the last four months. Fire Chief Croker responded to the second alarm. Ambulances were called from Flower, Roosevelt, Presbyterian and Bellevue hospitals, hut there were no serious injuries. Prompt work by two patrolmen on post cleared the tenement house on the northeast corner of Fifty-ninth street and Third avenue, which was inclosed on the north and east sides by the burning building. Energetic work by the firemen prevented the flames from spreading further than the uptown station of the Third avenue elevated, though sparks were carried over as far as the Plaza Hotel. Mayor Gaynor was probably the most interested spectator of the big crowd at the fire. The Mayor had been to review First Battery in the Twenty-second Regiment Armory, and when he and Lieutenant Kennell left the armory the glare of the flames was lighting up the sky. The Mayor expressed a desire to see the blaze and drove down there. By this time the fire was under control, but not extinguished, and Chief Croker stopped long enough to greet Mr. Gaynor.
“Was any one hurt?” was the Mayor’s first question. He expressed satisfaction on learning that there had been no casualties.
“Come to see how we work?” asked Croker.
“Yes,” said the Mayor.
Then the Mayor, the Lieutenant and Inspector Titus made a tour of inspection. It was Mr. Gaynor’s first visit to a night fire and he took great interest in the workings of the searchlight and other apparatus. The sound of falling glass called the attention of Policeman Morrell, on duty at Third avenue and Fifty-ninth street at 10.15 o’clock, to a burst of flame pouring from the third story of the structure. Morrell sent in an alarm, and with Patrolman Muschmakcr aroused the tenants of the five-story tenement house to the west of the burning building. In a few moments the entire L-shaped building was ablaze. The scaffolding erected for the remodeling of the building made easy food for the flames and before the fire apparatus arrived the northbound station of the elevated railroad on Third avenue was burning. Blazing brands and masses of sparks fell on the roof of the Bloomingdale department store directly opposite on the west side of Third avenue. The first firemen took their places on the elevated structure and directed streams into the masses of flame which poured from the windows of the Third avenue extension of the building. Others ripped the burning shelter shed from above the heads of their comrades. Two trains, one north and one south bound, halted within about 50 feet of the fire. Two high-pressure wagons soon joined the other fire apparatus and directed streams into the burning buildings under the guidance of powerful searchlights. The work of the firemen was hindered to some extent by the torn-up condition of THird avenue, on which new trolley tracks are being laid, and two or three pieces of apparatus were in danger of being stalled in the path of burning brands from the flaming buildings. These the firemen had to remove by hand because the horses became unmanageable and had to be unharnessed.