Oklahoma Firemen in a Severe Test

Oklahoma Firemen in a Severe Test

The fire that recently occurred in the Alexander Drug Company’s store in Oklahoma City, caused a loss of $80,000 while the property involved amounted to $264,000. Chief Ross M. Brooks was in charge of the fire and worked on it three hours before it was stopped. The building was 50 by 160 feet, located in a congested part of the city and adjoined a 5-story fireproof structure. It was built of brick and wood and was three stories high with brick partition walls but no fire prevention equipment except a few 3-gallon extinguishers. The fire broke out at 3.07 a. m. on the third floor in the center of the building, caused by burning matches in the laboratories. When the firemen arrived the fire had burned through the third floor and roof. Although there were 46 members of the department at work they were not adequate to the big job on hand. There were three American-La France steamers and one American-La France triple combination motor engine, a water tower and aerial truck employed and eleven fire streams were obtained through 1 1/4to 2-inch diameter nozzles. The motor engine carried 200 lbs. pressure pumping through three lines of hose for three hours without a hitch. There were ten hydrants set in the length of 1 1/2 blocks where the fire was located with only 300 feet apart and the pressure at the openings was 80 lbs. 7,000 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose were used and some cellar and turret pipes. The water was supplied by direct pressure and was ample to furnish a sufficient quantity to the engines continuously while the fire lasted. The contents of the drug store building consisted of the usual stock of drugs, chemicals, fixtures, sugar and furniture. There were in the 5-story building windows of 24 by 5 ft. with regular glass directly over the burned drug store which caused the fire to extend to that structure. _

Chief Ross M. Brooks, Oklahoma City.

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