Minneapolis Adopts New Vapor Nozzle
For some years the Minneapolis Fire Department has experienced considerable success in extinguishing oil fires with water. The usual pit fire of crankcase drainings and gasoline, used for demonstrations, has been extinguished with the ordinary shut-off nozzle partly closed, using high pressure to produce the desired spray.
When vapor nozzles appeared on the market, Chief Earl Traeger was interested and witnessed several demonstrations of different makes. At one of these he remarked:
“A shut-off nozzle of the standard type with the addition of the vapor feature would be a valuable addition to regular equipment. Vapor alone is not sufficient—we never know what is needed until we get in and find out.”
With this in mind, a Minneapolis manufacturer produced a nozzle which was tested at the Training School on the usual pit fires. A pit 25 feet in diameter was used. With 3/4-inch tip, nozzle connected to 1 1/2-inch hose, fires were extinguished with men advancing on fire both from the windward and leeward side. Vapor from the nozzle afforded good protection, heat was dissipated, and men were able to extinguish fires without taking undue punishment.
Two of these nozzles were placed in service in the Minneapolis Department early last fall, one at Engine Company No. 11, located at the Training Schorl, and the other at Engine Company No. 6. At Station No. 11, Engine Company and Ladder Company have had several opportunities to use this nozzle on inside fires, where it has been very effective, especially on basement fires. One of these basement fires was located on the rear of an inside stairway, where shelves with paint cans of various descriptions were burning, flames were spurting and gas masks were required by men entering the building. A line was taken down inside stairway, where fire was extinguished, using the vapor nozzle only.
The best job done with this nozzle was accomplished by Engine Company No. 6 at the Woonsocket Apartments, 16th Street and 3rd Avenue South. This fire occurred around two o’clock in the morning. This is a four-story apartment house building. Fire started on the fourth floor, center of the building, in a one-room apartment. When the Department arrived, the fire had extended through the door and out into the hall. The line was stretched up front stairway. The vapor nozzle was opened in the hallway. The fire was extinguished with the one nozzle. We believe the principle involved in the construction of a nozzle which breaks the water into a vapor contributes to the minimum of water necessary. We have recently purchased twelve additional nozzles and will continue to add this equipment as rapidly as possible.
This nozzle was developed by the Perfection Manufacturing Company, and is being distributed by the W. S. Nott Company, of Minneapolis.