Million Dollar Ship Fire in New York
Many members of the New York fire department had narrow escapes from death on May 13 in fighting a fire which started in the forward hold of the steamship “Santa Marta,” which was undergoing conversion from a coal to an oil burner by the Robins Dry-Dock & Repair Company in the Erie Basin, Brooklyn Borough. Three alarms were sent out for the fire and this brought about 200 firemen and practically all of the apparatus of the Red Hook section of the city, both shore and fireboats. When the firemen cut through the steel plates on the port side to make an opening through which to fight the fire, the “Santa Marta” listed heavily to starboard and at the same moment a series of explosions blew off most of the hatches which had been battened down before the fire started. Flames leaping through the open hatches communicated to the wooden superstructure and dozens of firemen were caught unawares and were compelled to leap across the intervening space to the adjoining docks. From this point they turned their hose on the ship and finally brought the fire under control. The illustrations shows one of the fire boats engaging the fire in the steamer’s hold at close quarters. The loss was estimated at $1,000,000.