Paper Box Fire in Indianapolis
An electric switch is supposed to have been the cause of a recent fire in Indianapolis, Ind., in which the Mahan Paper Box Company suffered a heavy loss. The building, which was 75 x 150 feet in area, four stories high and of brick and wood construction, was situated in the business district on a 90-foot street and was about ten years old. The fire started in the basement. It was discovered at 7:10 p. m., and an alarm immediately telephoned, but the elevator shaft allowed the flames to reach upward so quickly that when the department arrived the fire had involved the entire shaft and was spreading on the fourth floor. Chief John C. Loucks was in command and had 80 men engaged, employing one American-LaFrance piston pumper, one Ahrens-Fox pumper, one AmericanLaFrance, two Metropolitan, and one Ahrens-Fox steamers. Good use was also made of a water tower with twoinch nozzle and three Glazier nozzles, 1 1/2-inch. Ten hydrants, 6-inch double with steamer connection, were available, from 200 to 300 feet apart, with 90 pounds pressure from 12-inch and 20-inch mains, direct pumping system. Sixty-seven hundred feet of cotton rubber-lined hose were laid, and seven hydrant and five engine streams were thrown at a time. The factory was well built, of slowburning construction, but the highly inflammable nature of the contents—paper and paper boxes, mostly for candy —made the firemen’s task a difficult one, especially as the fire could be reached only from two sides, so that the “all out” signal was not given until seven hours after the alarm was given. There was a loss of $20,000 on the $40,000 building, while the contents, valued at $70,000, were a total loss.