Oil Fire Destroys Hardware Store at Yorkton

Oil Fire Destroys Hardware Store at Yorkton

A two story brick building, 30 by 100 feet, occupied by F. S. Collacott’s hardware store at Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada, was destroyed by fire, nothing but part of the walls remaining, on March 10th, when a barrel of oil in the basement took fire, supposed from spontaneous combustion. A clerk discovered the fire and telephoned an alarm at 2 p. m. When Chief F. G. Furby and the fire brigade arrived the fire already had a good start from the oil in the barrel and the dense smoke which filled the building hampered efforts to extinguish the flames. From the first it was apparent that the building was doomed. The brigade worked hard to confine the fire to the Collacott Building and succeeded in doing this. The roof and the floors of the Collacott Building fell through and the brigade then flooded the fire and soon extinguished it. The ground floor fell first, then the second floor and lastly the roof crashed in. The brigade fought the fire with plug streams only, no engines, and had four streams on the flames. The water system, direct pumping, maintained a hydrant pressure of seventy pounds. 1,800 feet of hose were in use and a deluge set was used. The property was valued at $20,000 and the contents, consisting of hardware, paints, oils, glass, etc., at $23,000. The fire started in the centre of the basement and the floor and intervening partitions made it impossible to reach the blaze from doors and windows and the choking smoke together with the fumes of the burning oil, etc., prevented entrance to part of the building. An effort was made to put out the fire by flooding the basement but the flames spread too rapidly. In this connection a local newspaper said: “The fire brigade did very efficient work under Fire Chief Furby’s directions. Had it been equipped with smoke helmets the fire might have been extinguished in its early stages. However, it demonstrated the need of smoke helmets to complete its equipment. A frame implement shed on the east side of the Collacott Building caught fire, which was quickly extinguished. Later a section of wall fell on it and it was almost totally demolished. A gent’s furnishing store on the west side of the building was threatened and the fire did spread to the basement but the vigilant brigade at once discovered and extinguished it.” Regarding the water supply a local newspaper said: “Throughout the three-hour fight with the flames the water pressure was excellent and the supply abundant. In fact the new supply well at the power house, completed last year, was hardly lowered at all by the extraordinary demand made upon it, and at times four streams of water were simultaneously playing on the flames. Certainly the fire proved the wisdom of last year’s Council in constructing this supply well and gave abundant proof that Yorkton’s water supply is now ample both for domestic and fire-fighting purposes.”

CHIEF F. G. FURBY, OF YORKTON, SASK.TWO GENERAL VIEWS OF THE FIRE IN THE F. S. COLLACOTT HARDWARE STORE, YORKTON, SASK., AT ITS HEIGHT.

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