New School House in Salt Lake City Burned

New School House in Salt Lake City Burned

The Liberty public school building in Salt Lake City, Utah, a one-story hollow tile structure that was recently erected and had been open about a month, was recently partially destroyed by fire. The building had one story and a boiler room basement. In size the. building was irregular and had a floor area of 19,000 square feet. The roof was tile over one inch sheathing, supported by light wood trusses resting on walls and two by six-inch studs. The roof space was ten feet without bulkheads and the walls were twelve-inch terra cotta tile. There were no fire divisions. Floors were concrete in corridors and over boiler room and double one-inch T. & G. in classrooms. Partitions were wood lath and plaster on wood studs and the finish was wood lath and plaster except metal lath and plaster on walls. The boilerroom was fireproof. A metal smokestack extended through floor and roof. The stack was enclosed with four-inch terra cotta tile to within three feet of the roof. Above the terra cotta enclosure the stack was covered with three inches of asbestos without incombustible jacket and the wood work was only four and a half inches distant. It is believed the fire was caused by leaving a fumigating candle in a supply room to fumigate some books, and that it may not have been properly set. The fire had burned some time before it was discovered by a neighbor and the alarm was then telephoned to the department. The first motor company to arrive and go into action was Company No. 3, in charge of Captain Cahoon. After Company No. 5, in charge of Captain Oldewater, arrived, Captain Cahoon turned in the second alarm, to which Chief William H. Bywater responded with the American-La-France combination apparatus, and upon his a_____val he turned in a third alarm, bringing the Ahrens-Fox apparatus and No. 4 hose wagon and truck, giving the chief three pieces of motor apparatus, including a Webb triple combination machine, and three pieces of horsedrawn apparatus and forty-five firemen. Chief Bywater used six hydrant streams with a pressure at the hydrants of one hundred pounds. The hydrants were 150 feet apart. Two thousand feet of hose was in service. The fire was a difficult one to handle on account of the construction of the building, the fire having an unobstructed clear space, no fire stops, and the inaccessibility of the roof space to hose streams. Despite these difficulties Chief Bywater handled the situation with great skill and kept the loss down to $30,000 on building, valued at $70,000, and to $2,000 on contents, worth $5,000. It is stated the building code was deviated from in the following points: That the roof space should have been bulkheaded in 2,300 square feet areas, that the ground floor area of the building should not have covered more than 10,000 square feet of area, and that the metal smokestack should have been protected with a metal jacket at least twelve inches from the stack extending above and below the roof, and the wood work should have been at least twenty inches distant. This is the only school house lestroyed by fire in Salt Lake City during the last twenty years, and in this instance it is ascribed to the fact that the fire had spread the entire length of the roof space before being discovered and the alarm turned in and the inaccessibility of the roof space to the hose streams.

East View of the Liberty School House in Salt Lake City, Utah, Before the Fire Started.A General View from the South of the R uins of the Liberty Public School House, Salt Lake City, Utah.Chief W. H. Bywater, Salt Lake City.

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