Recent Boston Fires

Recent Boston Fires

(From Our Regular Correspondent)

Three alarms were sounded on the night of May 12 for a spectacular fire which apparently originated from spontaneous combustion in the big coal pocket in the New Haven railroad yards near Dover street bridge, South Boston. Difficulty was experienced in getting water on the blaze because of the location of hydrants. Long lengths of hose had to be laid from Dorchester avenue and across the railroad yard which hampered the operations of the land companies. Fortunately it was high tide and this enabled the fire-boat to land alongside the dock and stretch lines across the tracks to the fire which was concentrated in the upper portion of the coal pocket. A battery of powerful streams from fireboat lines soon quenched the fire. The coal pocket was of wooden construction with bins 250 by 85 ft. and 70 ft. high. The fire was discovered about 11 p. m. by a railroad employee. Three engines were used to pump in to the intake hydrant inside the yard. The water pressure was good, but the fireboat was forced to back out because of falling tide and leave her hose on the dock. By this time, however, the fire was under control. The department laid approximately 3.000 feet of hose, two and a half and three inch cotton, rubber lined, and raised 500 feet of ladders. The apparatus in service included ten engine companies, and four ladder companies. Two Seagraves motor pumps were in use. The water pressure at the hydrants was 55 pounds. The total number of streams of water used was 15, twelve streams being in use at one time. 114 inch nozzles were used. Chief Peter F. McDonough was in general charge, assisted by Acting Deputy Chief Edward J. Shallow and district chiefs. The fire was confined to the upper portion of the structure with a loss estimated at $15,000.

A fire in cotton bales in storehouse No. 8 of the Mystic Terminal, Medford street, Charlestown, discovered at 9:05 a. m. on May 13 caused the sounding of two alarms from Box 452. Four firemen were overcome by smoke while fighting the fire. The building was of concrete construction, 150 ft. by 75 ft., and 35 feet high. Six engine companies, three ladder companies, and a fireboat were in service. The department laid 2,500 feet of hose and used 300 feet of ladders. Six post hydrants were available about 300 feet apart. The water pressure at hydrants was 50 pounds. Two and one-half inch cotton rubber lined hose was used and 8 streams were in use at one time. Chief McDonough was in charge, assisted by Acting Deputy Chief Shallow and district chiefs. The building on fire was filled with more than 1,000 bales of American and Egyptian cotton, much of which had to be overhauled. The loss by fire and water amounted to $25,000.

Fig. 42

Recent Boston Fires


Recent Boston Fires

A three-alarm fire at 170 Summer street, Dewey Square, Boston, Mass., recently, was confined to the top floor and roof of the building where it originated, a 5story brick mercantile structure, owned by the WoodPollard Company. The cause of the fire is unknown. Heavy damage resulted to boot and shoe stock on the upper floor and there was considerable water loss occasioned on the lower floors. The first alarm was received front Box 1412 at 8:17 a. m., followed by a second alarm at 8:21 and a third at 8:23. The apparatus responding included 12 engines, 5 ladder companies, 3 water towers, 2 chemicals, rescue squad, and protective autos. One Seagrave motor pump was in use and rendered efficient service. Chief Peter F. McDonough was in general charge. A water tower was used to good advantage and lines were taken over stairways and ladders. The department laid 6,400 feet of 2 1/2and 3-inch cotton rubber lined hose.

A recent very stubborn cellar fire, for which three alarms were sounded, broke out in the wine room of the Crawford House in Scollay square early in the afternoon. An employee of the gas company, who had gone to the basement to shut off gas, died from effects of fumes and smoke and a number of firemen were partially overcome while fighting the fire as dense clouds of yellowish colored smoke hindered operations. Acting Deputy Chief Edward J. Shallow ordered a second alarm upon his arrival, and a third at 3:02. The cellar was heavily charged with smoke and a brisk fire burning in the rear when the first apparatus arrived on the scene. Cellar pipes and Bresnan nozzles were used in addition to mobile lines. Chief P. F. McDonough was in general charge and the apparatus consisted of 12 engine companies, 4 ladder trucks, 2 water towers. 2 chemicals, the rescue squad, and protective department automobiles. The engines included one Seagrave pump, the remainder being steamers. The departmen laid 4,200 feet of 2 1/2 and 3-inch hose, and 500 feet of chemical lines. The fire was confined to the basement, the loss to contents being estimated at $20,000 and to building, $6,000. Six Lowry hydrants were available about 200 feet apart. Water pressure was 55 pounds, service being from 12 and 16 inch mains. Nozzles in use were 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 inch. Two lengths of hose burst.

On the same day a cellar fire occurred in the Hotel Brewster, at Washington and Boylston streets, where more than a dozen firemen were overcome by escaping gas. The damage to the property was small.

A dangerous fire in an apartment house on Huntington avenue in the Back Bay section of the city caused the sending in of three alarms. The property, known as the Hotel llkley, Nos. 176-178 Huntington avenue, was a modern 6-story, brick building. The blaze, starting in the basement from an unknown cause, swept up a dumb waiter shaft and mushroomed on the top floor. The worst damage was caused in the rear. A portion of the roof was burned away and the lower floors suffered water loss.

District Chief Peter F. Walsh, who responded on a still alarm, immediately ordered a bell alarm, which was quickly followed by a second and third. Lines were taken over stairways and ladders, 85-foot aerial trucks being used. Apparatus in service included 10 engines, 5 ladders, 1 tower, chemical, rescue, and protective autos. Chief McDonough was in charge. Amount of hose used was 4,350 feet of 2 1/2and 3-inch, and 350 feet of chemical hose. Three firemen were injured. Damage is estimated at about $15,000.