PECULIAR ELECTRICAL FIRE.
The electrical committee of the New York board of underwriters has reported thus of a peculiar electrical fire in Manhattan, which its inspectors had investigated: A fire that occurred on August 3 at 85 Murray street, reported by the fire patrol “cause not ascertained.” was called to the attention of the electrical department of the board by one of the adjusters, and, upon investigation. it was found that, when standing on the third floor and placing a hand on water or soil pipe, a very distinct electric shock was received. After careful examination and test, it was determined that this floor was electro-negative to the pipes, which would indicate that there was a flow of current from the pipes into the floor. After considerable search a rosette was found on the ceiling below, on which there was a ground between the binding screws on the hack of the device and the woodwork against which it was placed. The ground was undoubtedly due to the materials used in the manufacturing process (flavoring extracts, etc.) carried on in the building, ami which must have contained considerable sodium in its solution. The floor being saturated with this fluid became a fairly good conductor, even when comparatively dry, and it is our opinion that the fire was occasioned by current flowing from pipes to the floor, crossing over inflammable material which had probably been thrown on the floor round the pipes, thus completing the circuit and producing sufficient heat to cause ignition. The electric current was cut off from the building and the wires removed from the floor in question and will not be again installed there.