Parked Autos a Serious Hindrance at Rochester Fire
Blaze from Carelessly Tossed Cigarette in Hay Passes Up Open Elevator Shaft, Mushrooming on Top Floor—Fires of the Week
THE firemen of Rochester, N. Y., in handling a lively blaze in a paper warehouse on April 8, were greatly handicapped by a large number of automobiles parked on both sides of Water Street, a narrow thoroughfare on which the building involved was situated. They were compelled to either lift the autos out of the way or to tow them with the fire apparatus before they could reach the flames, causing a serious delay in fighting the fire.
According to an account furnished by Chief Frank Jaynes, the first alarm for the fire, which was in the Lawless Paper Company plant on North Water Street, came in over the telephone at 10:02 A. M., and also by box. It is supposed that the fire originated from a carelessly tossed cigarette falling in some hay in the stable portion of the building on the ground floor. Leading from this floor to the upper stories was a large open freight elevator and up this shaft the flames passed mushrooming on the third or top floor. On Chief Jaynes’ arrival he immediately sent in a second and third alarm. The number of firemen engaged was 150 and the apparatus consisted of five pumpers, six steam fire engines, 14 hose wagons, six trucks, one water tower, one salvage corps and two supply wagons. There were fifteen six-inch double hydrants available, spaced about 15 feet apart with a pressure of 50 pounds at the hydrant. Four hydrant and 14 engine streams were thrown with nozzles of 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 inch. There were also five lines to the water tower and four lines to two hose wagon turret pipes. In all some 10,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch cotton rubber-lined hose were laid, the water mains being 10 and 12 inches.
Another feature which handicapped the firemen was the fact that the building backed up on the river and could only be fought from the front and from the roofs of adjoining buildings. It was three and five stories in height, constructed of brick with dimensions of 165 by 90 feet and had been built about 70 years ago.
Illustrations, Courtesy Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
After the many cars which were in the way of the firemen had been pushed by them away from the hydrants on the sidewalks the police took charge of the autos and had them towed to the second precinct station where the owners will have to reclaim them and probably pay a fine. Mayor Van Zandt in speaking of the fire said that he intended to back Commissioner Barham to the limit in his efforts to curtail the parking of autos in the downtown section of the city. “This has got to stop,” the mayor said in speaking of the practice. The firemen were handicapped to some extent by telephone wires and officials of the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation sent linemen to the fire to assist them. Superintendent of Police and Fire Alarm Telegraph L. G. Akey, took direct charge of these men and ordered the wires cut in all places where they appeared to endanger the firemen. Several of the firemen suffered injuries. Captain James Peart, of I ruck No. 1 while on a ladder was hit by a door which had been burned from its hinges and fell upon him, dazing hint. He received medical attention and returned to his duties. Two or three other members of the fire department also received minor injuries. The loss was estimated at $40,800. One of the illustrations shows the fire at its height with the men fighting it amid the dense clouds of smoke from the burning paper and the other shows the smoke ruins and the gap in the broken wall which fell outward into the river.
New Station Planned for Southampton—Southampton, N. Y., will launch a $23,000 bond issue in the near future to provide for the erection of a new fire station.