PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS AT OTTAWA BURNED.

PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS AT OTTAWA BURNED.

The carelessness of one of the clerks smoking in one of the offices in the western departmental block of the Parliament buildings at Ottawa, Ont., the capital of the Dominion of Canada, caused a serious fire, which at one time threatened the destruction of the whole of the magnificent pile of buildings. The clerks in the room of origin at first tried to stamp the fire out instead of at once sending for the fire department. When that arrived, the firemen found every hydrant in the Parliament grounds frozen, while the pressure of the hydrants inside the building proved to be very poor, owing to the high elevation on which the building stands. The entire fire brigade was called to the scene, as well as the Chaudiere lumber engine, and the Hull department, but. despite all all efforts, it was impossible to check the progress of the fire. The upper portion of the building was of wood, which made it an easy prey to the flames, and they gradually worked around to the southwest corner, then swung round to the south facade,and licked their way along the roof eastward. Turning the corner, they proceeded northerly along the entire length of the wing Ironting on Parliament square, consuming t’ne tower over the main door and all the offices of the mounted police department. The lire continued until there was nothing more to burn, and the next morning all that remained of the fourth story of the western departmental block was charred chimneys and roofless walls. The main offices on the second and third floors are untouched by fire, but are badly damaged by water. A detachment of the Montreal fire brigade arrived at five o’clock the following morning, twelve hours after ihe fire had broken out. They brought an engine with themjbut, as the couplings of their hose were not identical with those in use at Ottawa, only the services of the men could be employed. The lire kept breaking out several tin es after it was thought to be extinguished, and it was not till nearly thirty houses had elapsed that Chief Young and his men, who had been continuously on duty all the time,could retire. They had to fight the fire under terrible odds. The water pressure was insufficient; the hydrants were frozen solid; there was a lack of hose;the ladders of the extension ladder were too short; the hose could not be dragged up the narrow winding stairsways; one engine broke down, and the department staff had no no water. ‘The city council of Ottawa and the Canadian government are severely blamed for the lack of fire protectic n, and considering that the Parliament buildings form in many parts—especially in the library—a series of firetraps, the wonder is the destruction was not greater. The value of the roof destroyed was onl §100.000; but to replace it with a counterpart of the upper portion of the adjoining wing will cost $250,000

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