Pueblo Business Block Destroyed

Pueblo Business Block Destroyed

The Swift block, recently destroyed by fire at Pueblo, Colo., stood in the center of the business section of the city and occupied a space of 150 by 100 feet. It was a four-story building erected 23 years ago of brick and wood, with wooden partitions. Extinguishers and a fire escape were provided. The blaze started at 3:25 a. m. in the center of the building, and was of unknown origin. An alarm brought one Metropolitan engine. one Victor motor pump, two American-La France combination chemical and hose wagons and three ordinary hose wagons to the spot. After five hours the fire was stopped without its having communicated to any of the adjoining properties. The building, however, which was valued at $90,000, and its contents, consisting of dry goods, dental apparatus and apartment house furnishings, valued at $60,000, were totally destroyed. When the department arrived the flames had broken through the front and rear street floor. When Chief Sam Christy reached the scene with 22 men he found all the occupants trapped on the third floor. A black pall of smoke hid the building, and the people were calling for help. The firemen had to beat back the smoke with their lines before they were able to rescue the people, which they did with the aid of a 75foot aerial and a 50-foot extension ladder. The department is being criticized because it did not enter the building when it was a roaring furnace, but the critics overlook the fact that the firemen did heroic work in rescuing people who lived in the building. It was useless for the fire chief to permit his men to take unnecessary risks when no good could be accomplished. From six double 6-inch hydrants, four hydrant streams with Siamese connections and four engine streams .were thrown; the largest number of streams thrown at a pressure of 80 pounds was eight. The sizes of the nozzles used were 1 1/2. 1 8/5 and 174-inch. The main of the direct-pumping system was 12-inch. The hose was cotton rubberlined, of which 5,700 feet were laid, every length which proved good to the exit!. Chief Christy write: I have worked as a fireman tor eight years and have been chief for two. I have been training the men and myself ever since I became chief for the very thing that happened. Awe never hail a tire of so serious a nature in the city I Was sneered at for using Siamese connections and deluge sets. I am now getting the usual roast that comes to the loser.”

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