New York Firemen Kept Busy by Two “Village” Blazes
Firemen in the Greenwich Village section of New York City had to use twenty-eight pieces of equipment to fight two fires that started within an hour of each other on February 16 in leather goods factories eight blocks apart. In each case proximity to a fire house helped materially in preventing injuries and serious property damage.
The first alarm was issued vocally at 9:16 a.m. by employees of the MaidRite Handbag Company, who shouted from the windows of their fifth floor plant. Firemen of Engine Company 33, diagonally across the street, responded. Employees of the company, as well as workers from other plants on the upper floors of the twelve-story building, were evacuated by firemen.
Acting under the direction of Assistant Chief John J. McCarthy, the firemen, bolstered by apparatus summoned by a second alarm, confined the blaze to the bag company and to a hat company on the sixth floor.
Flxactly half an hour after the first alarm was sounded, Deputy Chief William Taubert of the 2nd Division was looking out of the window of Engine Company 72 on East Twelfth Street. He saw smoke pouring out of the rear of a loft building at 84 University Place.
All but one piece of equipment had already left the fire house for the first fire, so Chief Taubert sounded two alarms, and set out for University Place, followed by the one remaining truck. Before the vehicle arrived, Chief Taubert and two firemen had warned the building’s sixty occupants and evacuated them to the street.
The blaze, which started in the plant of the Specialty Leather Goods Company, was making headway feeding on the artificial leather stored in the plant. Six firemen who went to the roof with hose were temporarily marooned there.
A third alarm was sounded. It brought, among other vehicles, an aerial ladder. Firemen used the ladder to rescue their comrades. A fourth alarm was sounded to bring additional equipment downtown to fill in for the Greenwich Village apparatus busy at the two fires.