OTTAWA UNIVERSITY BURNED.

OTTAWA UNIVERSITY BURNED.

Chief Provost sends the following as to the Ottawa University fire:

On the morning of December 0 the University of Ottawa, Out., a Roman Catholic institution, was totally destroyed by fire. The loss is set down at $500,000; the insurance at $150,000. Only one life was lost, that of an old woman who was suffocated by the smoke. Three of the priests, professors, were dangerously injured by leaping to the ground from the third-story window, and two may die. Two of the help were badly hurt in the same way. The cause of the fire was probably lighted matches or cigarette ashes, which set fire to the stage in the Academic hall after an entertainment on the night before. The flames were first observed by the captain of the Theodore street fire station facing the college. The community had just finished breakfast, and were nearly all upstairs at study. When discovered, the flames were bursting out of the windows of Academic hall, and owing to the ten-foot wide corridors of the building, with their consequent draughts, soon swept through the whole college. Those who were on the lower floors easily escaped. Of those upstairs some got out by the fire escapes, of which there were plenty, only, however, on the one side. The rest had to jump into fire-nets, and blankets and sheets held by the priests and students. Those on the top floor had to leap down sixty-five feet, and it was in doing so that some were injured. The main building only, with the chapel, was destroyed, and there still remain buildings enough to carry on the work of the university till the work of restoration has been completed, which will he begun at once. A fine library of 30,000 volumes fell a sacrifice to the flames. Part of the city fire brigade was delayed by a fire in another part of Ottawa, but the apparatus and crews from two stations in the neighborhood were on hand at once. They found the building on fire at both ends, and so few hydrants that only six streams could be thrown on a structure on a space nearly too yards square. The firemen rescued many of the inmates by means of their portable extension ladders. Chief Provost writes that the building was surrounded by a stone and iron fence and could not be approached by the aerial truck. The alarm was given very late. and the firemen did well to confine the flames to the one spot. For a small department like Ottawa’s their work was most creditable. The water pressure was good, but the hydrants were too few and too far off.

CHIEF P. PROVOST, OTTAWA, ONT

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