Million Dollar Sugar House Fire

Million Dollar Sugar House Fire

Fire, involving a loss of about one million dollars, occurred near Napoleonville, La., in the sugar house known as Elm Hall, in the early morning of September 4, according to a report by the Louisiana Fire Prevention Bureau of New Orleans, La. The fire was discovered by the outside watchman of the plant, at 12:30 A. M., first being noted between the ceiling and roof of the filter press room in what was formerly the hot room of the building. The watchman at once ran to the opposite side of the sugar house and fired his pistol twice, this being the fire signal of the plant. The superintendent of fire protection of the plant was the first to reach the fire and immediately ran out a line of hose from the nearest hydrant. He was almost immediately assisted by other help, who used the hose from the vertical pipe connections located in that part of the building. However. owing to the concealed space in which the fire was burning, it was impossible to effectively play the streams on it and the flames gained great headway. By the time efficient help had arrived to effectively fight the fire, it had burst through to the main building and was spreading very rapidly. The fire pump of the plant was started at once and fire streams and all other apparatus, including four 33-gallon chemical engines, hose from vertical pipes, casks, and pails were brought into play, but the effort to check the flames was vain.

The inside watchman claimed that he had punched station No. 1 at 12:05 A. M. This station is located on the first floor, only a few feet below where the fire was discovered twenty-five minutes later by the outside watchman. It. is probable that the fire had started when the watchman was at this station, but due to the tight double ceiling above, it was not noticed. As soon as it was seen that the fire was beyond the private plant’s control, help was summoned from Thibodaux, La., and one 300-gallon pumper responded. By the time this apparatus arrived, the entire sugar house was practically destroyed, but it was used effectively to extinguish the flames on the roof of the derrick house of the plant, which was saved. The sugar house was entirely constructed of light and partly heavy frame with the brick hot room not cut off. The cause of the fire was undetermined. Besides the sugar house, the Magna tank, the machine shop, old engine house, office and norit revivifying house were destroyed. The capacity of Elm Hall was two thousand tons of sugar.

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Million-Dollar Sugar House Fire

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