NEW YORK FIRE COLLEGE COURSE

NEW YORK FIRE COLLEGE COURSE

Copyright, 1926, by FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, INC.

THE HANDLING OF FIRES IN VESSELS

(Coninued from page 637)

Be sure of what is in the compartment before you send the men down to put the blaze out. If you can’t go down, can’t send down, cannot find out what is in the hold, the next thing to do is to fill the hold with water.

Put two or three 3-inch lines down in the hold and start the pumps. Before you do that there is one important point you must remember: there is a bulkhead door usually between the different compartments of the hold, and which is watertight. See that these doors are tight so that the water will not run away.

Also be sure to take your men away when the doors are filled up. The door may give way and the damage would be terrific.

When down to lock the door you may find you can use a stream. If such is the case, do so as long as you can.

How to Get Water Into the Hold

There is another way of getting water into the hold besides letting the lines down through the hatches, and that is through the ventilators. These ventilators are present in practically every ship and are used for ventilating the spaces below, especially when chemicals are stored there, to prevent dangerous gases from collecting. They are usually situated four or five feet after or before the bulkhead. Smoke from the ventilators shows where the fire is; the chart shows where the ventilators come from.

Put your lines through these openings and turn on the water.

Either Ship or Cargo Where No Bulkheads

In the case of single bottoms on the ships get engineers to open the sea cocks. When there is enough water in the lower hold, close the sea cocks.

Fig. 147—Section 3. Interior of a ShipFig. 146—Section 4. Diagram of Interior of a Ship

In the case of fires in the old fishing ships there is usually no bulkhead, leaving a wide open space from end to end of the ship. In such an instance, there is only one thing to do. Stop the fire before it passes you. If necessary find how much water the ship will draw and run the ship somewhere where you can sink it.

Once the fire in a ship has gained headway you know it will destroy the cargo and the ship. It is up to the commanding officer to decide what to do. If there are no bulkheads in the ship, you have got to lose either the ship or the cargo.

You get the ship and the salvage, if you sink her, while the boat may be so badly damaged by warping of plates that it will be worthless if you try to put the tire out with streams.

Another thing to be remembered; when ship is at dock or in the harbor and cargo has been removed for one consignee from the lower deck, the boat is apt to be top-heavy and there is danger of it overturning. Use the water ballast tanks for aiding the boat to keep an even keel. Connect lines from the engine to fill up ballast tanks.

Sound how much water there is. If the boat draws 15 feet and is 15 feet above water, you can put her down in 20 feet of water. Re careful of the bottom. It should not be stony, for the weight of the boat going down on sharp stones will rip her open.

There are many times where you can get at the fire from both ends. Where fire is in the center and ventilation in the center, this is possible, but where the ventilation is at either end, there is danger of one company driving the fire toward the other. In any case get ventilation and the men can work close up to the fire and do more effective work.

Pile Cargo Evenly in Shifting It

In the case of fires on boats carrying sugar or similar materials, and where they must be shifted, be sure to pile the cargo evenly so that the center of gravity of the boat will remain midway between the two sides and well below the water level; otherwise the boat may capsize. Take the weight off the top instead of the main deck so that the stability of the boat will not be affected.

Where railroad cars are burning on floats, the first step is to close the many hatches, for water will get into the hold and cause the boat to tip over.

The buckling of plates frequently causes the seams to open from end to end of the boat and an inrush of water results if the boat should take more water or list.

It is very often possible to tell the location of the fire if it has gained headway by the color of the plates above the water level.

Questions and Answers on Steamship Fires

Q. On arriving on board of steamship that is on fire, what is the first thing you do?

A. Locate the fire.

Q. How would you proceed about it?

A. The ship’s officers are generally aware of the particular part of ship or cargo on fire. One or more hatches should be removed on each deck, until each compartment on fire is reached. A very excellent precaution is: while this is being done to have the ship’s officer get the diagram of ship. Bulkheads and compartments can be easily located by this diagram, as also the particular cargo which is in that part of the vessel.

Q. Assuming the fire is in the lower hold; how would you proceed to extinguish it?

A. If the fire had gained considerable headway, it would be necessary to flood the compartment.

Q. What is necessary before preceeding to flood the compartment?

A. See that all bulkhead water tight doors are closed, as well as the deadlights.

Q. Why is this a precautionary measure?

A. Because the compartment, as it fills with water, is in all probability liable to cause the boat to list. Should the cargo or other ports be left open she would fill with water and sink. Should the bulkhead doors be open the water would flow from the compartment and flood the entire length of the ship, thereby doing unnecessary damage to cargo and other parts of the vessel.

Q. How would you flood the compartment?

A. By stretching 3 1/2-inch hose from fireboat, dropping them down into compartment with open butts, and maintain about 40 pounds pressure on the boat pumps.

Q. Assuming that you cannot get the hatches off, is there any other means by which you can get water into the compartment?

A. Yes. Tt will generally be found that one ventilator leads to each compartment. This can readily be distinguished by the heat and smoke pouring from it. The hose can be dropped into the ventilator, and the water pumped into the compartment on fire.

Q. If there is no ventilator, is there any other means ?

Fig. 148—Section 2. Interior of a ShipFig. 149—Section 1. Interior of a Ship

(Concluded on page 687)

New York Fire College Course

(Concluded from page 685)

A. Yes. In some ships, especially those of single bottoms, it is possible to flood the lower hold through the sea valves.

Q. Suppose the ship is in a condition where the greater part ot the cargo is discharged; is there any particular precaution to be taken before starting to flood her?

A. Yes. A ship in the condition known as light, or partially discharged, will take a very heavy list if water is poured into a compartment. So much so as to perhaps capsize. In order to avoid this, lines should be run to the ballast tanks and they should be filled at the same time as the compartment is filled, in order to keep the ship on an even keel.

Q. What precaution is taken when the ship is heavily loaded?

A. In order to determine the depth of water under ship, take soundings. As she goes down from water poured in and takes the ground, she is bound to take a very sharp list one way or the other.

(Note:—The Extension Course of the New York Fire College will commence in the next issue.-EDITOR.)

The Hoboken, N. J., Chamber of Commerce has started a movement for support of the fire and accident prevention campaign which has as an important feature the forming of “Safety Locals” to consist of weekly meetings of the managers, superintendents and foremen of industrial plants for co-operation with the fire departments to reduce fire waste.

NEW YORK FIRE COLLEGE COURSE

2

NEW YORK FIRE COLLEGE COURSE

Copyright, 1920, by FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, INC.

THE HANDLING OF FIRES IN VESSELS

(Continued from page 589)

Oxygen Cutting Torch

This burner or torch is one of the most valuable tools used in the marine division; it is used for cutting holes in the steel decks and bulkheads of vessels; without it in a great many cases it would have been an impossibility to check the spread of fire; as it was we were able to cut through steel deck plates and bulkheads, dropping down distributers, Hart and Baker cellar pipes, and operate lines through the openings made. It consists of one cylinder of gas and one cylinder of oxygen, 25 feet of rubber hose, 25 feet of woven copper wire hose, two combination pressure and working gauges and the torch. The operation is as follows: Caps are removed from the tops of the cylinders, exposing the valvesand connections of each, and the gauges are screwed on; the copper or high pressure hose is attached to the oxygen gauge, and the rubber or low pressure hose attached to the gas gauge and the joints are made up tight. The other end of both these lines of hose is always connected up to the torch. The gas valve is then opened, the working gauge set at 18 pounds, and the torch is lighted by a match or a friction lighter and the proper flame regulated at the tip; the oxygen valve is now opened and the oxygen working gauge is set at 80 pounds, and then the proper flame or combination of the two gases into one flame is regulated and the flame applied to the metal which is to be cut. When the metal begins to flow, the trigger valve on the torch is opened fully and the molten metal is blown, by the pressure of the oxygen, through the cut. The capacity of this outfit is 56 one-inch cuts, or any proportionate ratio thereof, such as 28 two-inch cuts, or 112 half-inch cuts, etc. The pressures, 18 gas and 80 oxygen, will cut about four inches deep; if thicker metal is to be cut, the pressure may be increased.

Fig. 143—Oil Tanker on Fire

Hook Ladders

Hook ladders are a special tool used for the convenience of the firemen. The ordinary ladder placed against the side of a ship with the butt on the deck of the fireboat would be liable to fall and injure someone if it were not constantly attended to, owing to the motion of the fireboat, which at times is heavy, in a great many cases caused by the traffic in the river. These hook ladders are nothing more than the regular beam ladder with a 14-inch hook on the head of each beam. They are hooked on the rail of the vessel with the butt hanging down clear of the deck of the fireboat, and no matter how the fireboat may roll in a seaway, it will have no effect on the ladder. It can also be used to good advantage entering the holds of vessels, especially where a good foundation for the butt is not obtainable; by lowering the ladder down the h6ld and placing the hooks over the hatch coamings you are sure your ladder is secure.

Tower Pipe

The tower pipe on a fireboat is a four-inch standpipe line constructed inside the lattice work of a military mast; at the head of this mast a platform is constructed, surrounded by a guard rail for the use and protection of the man operating the pipe; it is equipped with a controlling valve and a two-inch Glazier nozzle and is connected directly with the pumps; the pipe rises to a height of 26 feet from the deck of the fireboat. In crowded ,slips this pipe has an extensive range in all directions. It is of tremendous value when fires have full possession of the superstructure and decks of ships, in which case the stream from the tower pipe will drive back the fire and enable the members of the company to gain a foothold on the decks of the burning vessel with hand lines.

Rail Pipes

This is a special tool used on fireboats with great effect; it consists of a short metal pipe casting with a male coupling on one end and a female coupling on the other; it has a stem or shank fastened by a band to the middle of the pipe, which operates on a hinge or swivel; the stem is fitted with a key and slot; when the rail pipe is used in operations at fires, it is placed in position in sleeve on top of rail of fireboat; lines of hose are stretched from the outlets of the turrets to the female connection on the rail pipe and a nozzle of proper size is connected to the male end. Streams from rail pipes can be used very effectively on fires under piers, on docks and where debris, oils or merchandise is on fire and floating in the tide water; the rail pipe is of the greatest service also for cooling the sides of burning vessels and preventing the heat from igniting other vessels or merchandise in the vicinity.

Three-Way Gate Connection

The three-way 3 1/2-inch to 2 1/2-inch gate connection in service in the marine division is, in my opinion, an indispensable tool for fireboats, for the reason that at all fires in ships extra lines are required almost any minute. One 3 1/2-inch line is stretched from the turret on the fireboat to the deck of the ship and connected to the 3 1/2-inch inlet of the gate connection; three lines of 2 1/2-inch hose is then stretched connecting the female couplings to the 2 1/2-inch outlets; put on the proper size nozzles and start water on the pumps; each 2 1/2-inch line is then controlled independently by the operation of the valves on this gate connection.

Pipe Holders

Eureka, Paradox and Perfection pipe holders are used in the marine division when operating lines of hose on shore, stretched from the fireboats. These tools are very necessary for handling lines of hose under heavy pressure and where powerful streams of water are required. A heavily charged line of hose with the proper size nozzle secured properly with a pipe holder can do the work of several men.

Fig. 144—Liner Destroyed at Pier

Rivet Cutter or Flogging Chisel

Rivet cutters or flogging chisels are a large cold chisel fitted with a long wooden handle; they are very useful in cutting off bolts or the heads of rivets on board vessels.

Spray Nozzle (Pepper Box)

This nozzle throws a very fine spray and is useful in wetting down cotton, hay, hemp, jute, flax or other vegetable fiber; also rubbish, etc.

Search Light

Search light of 700 candle power mounted on top of pilot house will throw a powerful beam of light at night, enabling the pilot of the fireboat to observe all obstructions in ships and docks when entering. It is also of great assistance to firemen while fighting fires at night and in fog, when its beam is used for locating piers and street when company is about to make a landing. It is also of great value at night locating persons who have jumped overboard from burning vessels.

Electric Hand Light

This light is a very valuable adjunct to the firemen for penetrating into dark holds of vessels containing chemicals from which arise gases which are deadly, singly or in combination, and in the event of a lamp being used which has an open flame it would result in an explosion, in many cases causing loss of life. It is also absolutely necessary for a fireman’s equipment to enable him to enter the holds of oil tank steamships.

Double Female Connection

This tool or appliance is a double swivel connection, 3 1/2 inches on one end and 3 inches on the other; it is used when connecting a line of 3 1/2-inch hose from a fireboat to a high pressure hydrant. The 3 1/2-inch line is connected to the turret of the fireboat and stretched

to the high pressure hydrant; a pressure gauge is then connected to the hydrant; this leaves a he butt on the hose and a he butt on the pressure gauge; the two he butts are then connected together by use of the 3 1/2-inch to 3-inch double female connection. In addition to the special tools mentioned, a complete set of various size nozzles, increasers and reducers and various other tools carried by engine and hook and ladder companies are carried on fireboats.

In order to specially emphasize the points in this subject, the topic has been arranged in two sections, each of which covers the same matter, but in different form.

Fig. 145—Where Life Comes First. Passenger Ship Afire. Lifeboats Removing Passengers

The first section gives instructions to be followed in fighting marine fires, while the latter division consists of questions and answers on the subject.

Fires in Ships

To locate the fire is the first thing you do when responding to any alarm. In marine fire the procedure is the same, except you must locate the fire under you.

How to Find the Fire

Take the hatch covers off, and there are two or three decks below. To prevent doing tremendous damage to property of all kinds the officer must be reasonably sure as to what part of the ship the fire is in.

The first step is to hunt up the chief officer and ask where the fire is. But you will find very often that the chief officer does not know more than you about the under part of the ship. You should then ask for a chart. It is safe to assume that the fire is in the hold of the ship, atfd it may go from one end of the hold to the other.

Then there may be hemp, jute, cotton or chemicals stored therein. The chief officer is responsible for the men. Hemp and jute make no effect apparently on the men when fighting the fire, but they may drop after getting on the deck. The reason for this is the smoke from fire in the hemp and jute will act similarly to opium, putting the men to sleep.

(To be continued)

We are glad to announce that the New York Fire College Course, which has been appearing serially in the columns of Fire and Water Engineering, will be issued in book form about the middle of April.—Editor.