RECENT BIG FIRES

RECENT BIG FIRES

(Specially Reported lor FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.)

The following are among the important recent fires occurring in various sections of the country which have been specially reported to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING:

High School Destroyed Through Lack of Water

The lack of sufficient pressure and likewise the absence of suitable apparatus were responsible for the total loss of a high school building in Portland, Mich., recently, by fire. Chief S. H. Hixson says: “It was no fault of the firemen that the fire was not put out. We were there in good time, but had to see it burn because there was no water to work with. There were three 4-inch double hydrants, but the pressure was so low that we could not throw a stream more than 15 feet from the nozzle.” The building was of brick, erected in 1882, with annex built in 1905, and was two stories high. The fire was discovered and an alarm telephoned at 7:45 p. m. It started from an unknown cause in the hall of the main building and burned for 12 hours, when it stopped because the structure was destroyed. The property was valued at $60,000 and the contents, consisting of piano, books and school furnishings, at $6,000. Of the latter, about $500 worth were saved. The accompanying illustration was furnished by Chief Hixson, and gives a good idea of the ruins after the fire.

Ruins of the Portland, Mich., High School.

RECENT BIG FIRES

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RECENT BIG FIRES

(Specially Reported for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.)

The following are among the important recent fires occurring in various sections of the country which have been specially reported to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING:

Lumber Fire in Lincoln

A fire originating in the Schuck & Yost lumber yard, which occupied a space 400 by 200 feet in the northeast section of Lincoln, Neb., was discovered at 11:53 p. m., September 8, by citizens passing in an automobile, who stopped at a nearby residence to telephone the alarm. The fire alarm brought the chief of the department, N. T. Sommer, and one horsedrawn hose wagon and three men from Station No. 4, located two blocks from the fire, one American-LaFranee hose and chemical with four men and one tractordrawn Seagrave service truck with two men from Station No. 2, located 11 blocks front the fire, and one American-LaFrance chemical and hose with four men from headquarters company, located 25 blocks from the fire. On the arrival of the chief and first alarm companies the fire was burning fiercely front one end of the yard to the other and had crossed the railroad tracks to the north and ignited the one-story frame building with rubberoid roof occupied by the Hebb Auto Body Company and stored with lumber. A second alarm was immediately sent in, which brought the remainder of the department, consisting of one American-LaFrance 500-gallon pumper and hose apparatus with four men and one 85-foot Seagrave aerial truck with two men from headquarters and one White triple combination with six men from Station No. 3. located 30 blocks from the fire. A total of 25 men were available for work at the fire on the arrival of all of the department. The off-shift was immediately called by telephone, the twoplatoon system being in operation here. The first men of the off-shift to arrive were sent back to quarters with two of the empty hose and chemical apparatus where hose was loaded, and these appa_____atus remained in service at the stations to which they were assigned. The remainder of the off-shift was kept at the fire. The fire in the lumber yard and the Hebb Auto Body building having gained such headway before the arrival of the department, it was necessary for the department to give its attention to surrounding property. The De Witt elevator, a wooden structure 30 by 24 feet and 75 feet high, built on one corner of and forming a part of the De Witt hay and feed building, was separated from the Hebb building by a 14-foot alley. The De Witt building, with the exception of the elevator (which was of frame and built on one corner of and on top of the other building, without firewalls or other protection between elevator and other parts of building) was of concrete block construction and stored with hay, straw, alfalfa and sacked feed. All of the De Witt building and contents except the elevator were saved. The fire was confined to the lumber yard, Hebb Auto Body building and De Witt elevator, being checked on the alleys on the north and south of the buildings on fire. Five 4-inch double hydrants were available. being badly spaced, one hydrant requiring a hose line 1,250 feet long and another a line 800 feet long. In all, 5,000 feet of hose were laid. There were four hydrants and three engine streams thrown, the hydrant pressure being 90 pounds direct pumping, and nozzle sizes being 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 inches. The lumber was valued at $80,000. on which a $75,000 loss was incurred. The Hebb property and contents, valued at $30,000, was practically a total loss, while the De Witt property, with about the same valuation, escaped with a loss of approximately $12,000.