New York Department Makes Record Run
A feature of the fire that recently destroyed most of the plant of the National Lead Company at Staten Island, N. Y., was the response made in record time by the New York fire department. Shortly after noon, smoke was discovered by the watchman at the gate of the office building, issuing from the walls of a storage house, and running over, he found the interior of the large building spotted with flames from the mounds of tanbark stored there. He first turned in an alarm at the box on a near by corner, then telephoned the plant’s engineer to put the sprinkler system into action. The watchman had lost no time but the flames spread fast and were pouring through the roof as Battalion Chief Beggin and apparatus arrived. The chief almost immediately caused a second alarm and then a third to be turned in; then, as the fire gained in front, he sent a call for the Manhattan borough (New York city) department. A dozen engines and hook and ladder companies with Chief Kenlon, Deputy “Smoky Joe” Martin and Fire Commissioner Thomas J.Drennan rushed for the island, calling up every available piece of apparatus in lower Manhattan. At the ferry two boats were waiting and made the run to Port Richmond in just half the usual time. There were nine trucks, fourteen engines, a fireboat, a rescue company and five Standard Oil tugs engaged, in addition to the plant’s private fire fighting system. The superintendent of the plant, Thos. E. Kearns, with the watchman, the engineer and an outsider, were making a brave effort to keep the sparks from igniting a number of small buildings near the main plant, but were being worsted when eighteen men from the Medical Corps of the Fox Hills Hospital arrived and lent valuable aid. In addition to the storage building of the Lead Company’s plant, a small hotel and several dwell-lings were destroyed, and the company’s main buildings was badly damaged. The loss amounted to about $300,000.