Recent Important Fires Specially Reported
Superintendent Overcome by Smoke and No One to Fight Mine Fire Near Cripple Creek—Loss of Life in Convent Blaze—Fires of the Week
Private Standpipe, But No One to Work It
A private standpipe was provided for the protection of the Isabella Mines property, about six miles from Cripple Creek, Colo., but apparently no one was competent to fight the fire that recently destroyed the ore house and shaft house, starting from defective electric wires, it is supposed, the superintendent having been overcome by smoke very soon after it was discovered. By the time an alarm reached the Cripple Creek department by telephone, Chief C. H. Crooks reports, the fire had reached a point where it was uncontrollable, and the firemen sent out to the plant to direct volunteers found that all efforts were useless. The buildings occupied a space 150×300 feet, and were of wood construction, sheet iron covered. The fire had its origin in the ore house, which, with the shaft house, was valued at $130,000, and both were a total loss. The mining machinery, tools, boilers and other supplies were valued at $50,000, and on them, too, the loss was total. The accompanying pictures were taken by Chief Crooks the day after the fire, and are interesting from the rather unusual subject.
Conneaut Goes to Assistance of Ashtabula
The fire department of Conneaut, Ohio, showed “some” speed when called to the aid of Ashtabula recently. Chief Gough was called by City Manager Turner of the latter city at 11:15 a. m., to help extinguish a bad fire in the business section. The chief called the mayor of Conneaut and was authorized to proceed at once, and with a crew started from the city, taking the big American-LaFrance pumper, in just five minutes after the call was received from Ashtabula. From the time the truck left the fire station until it arrived at Ashtabula, a distance of 14 1/4 miles, barely 15 minutes had elapsed. In two minutes from its arrival at the fire the Conneaut pumper had two lines playing on the flames, one 550 feet long and the other 750 feet. The pumper supplied a pressure varying from 150 to 180 pounds and pumped between 800 and 850 gallons per minute for an hour and a quarter. Chief Gough directed the movements of his own men during the fire. The aid rendered the neighbor city was of the greatest value, as one of Ashtabula’s pumpers had blown its packing out and was shut down for repairs and the other truck not being equipped with a pump, it was said that the whole business district must have been devastated but for Conneaut’s quick and efficient aid. Chief Gough was enabled to provide for the safety of the city in the section covered by headquarters by Max Goldstein’s public spirited action in lending his large delivery truck, which was stationed at headquarters with an adequate force of men, headed by Captain Marshall and Safety Director Buchanan, during the absence of the remainder of the department.
Loss of Life in Wilkes-Barre Convent Fire
The cause of the fire that inflicted severe injuries on eight, of which one died a few hours after, in the Convent of St. Mary’s, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was not known. The fire started in the cellar near the stairway and was discovered at 10.50 a. m., and the alarm was pulled at 11, bringing Chief Hochreiter with 16 of his men. “The fire was all over the building from cellar to roof,” reports the chief; “and as it was 40 years old and the woodwork Was very dry, the fire went up the well hole to roof before the alarm was given. The stairway was wood and the opening acted as a flue for the fire and as the stairs and the rest of the inside of the building were all well painted, it was what you call a fast burner. The fire was all over the building before the apparatus arrived. The building was in two parts, the old and the new, and the fire started in the cellar of the old part. I think the men did wonderful work in holding the fire in the place of origin, as the department succeeded in confining it to the old building where it started.” The convent stood on a plot 80×200 and was four-stories in height, of brick construction but with wooden partitions and had for fire protection only six three-gallon chemical extinguishers in addition to the usual iron fire escapes and ropes, The chief states that the department was hampered by lack of men, as there were only 38 when the general alarm sounded. The apparatus employed consisted of three Ahrens-Fox pumpers and one American, with a Nott steamer and there Were six hydrants, five four-inch double and one four-inch single., distant 500 feet, and with a pressure of 20 to 60 pounds. Ten streams were thrown at one time from 1-, 1 1/8-, and 1 1/4-inch nozzles, and 6,000 feet of hose were laid, of which three lengths burst. In addition to the apparatus mentioned, a ladder pipe and a wagon pipe were used. The loss on the property was $20,000 and the value was $80,000. On the contents, furniture, schoolbooks, etc., the loss was about $3,500.