ROBERTS FILTER PLANT DESTROYED IN EARLY MORNING FIRE AT DARBY
Cold Hampered Firemen in Work— Seventy People Made Homeless—Assistance Rushed from Nearby Towns
FIRE destroyed the plant of the Roberts Filter Manufacturing Company, early on December 19, in Darby. Pa. The chilly blasts hampered the firemen in their work and twentyfive firemen were overcome and injured while the flames communicated from the plant to a row of houses nearby.
The factory building was three hundred feet long and fifty feet wide, constructed of brick and frame with one partition wall. Fire was discovered by one of the residents in the nearby homes, and the alarm was turned in at 6 :20 a. m. The department responded under the command of Chief Jack Mabus of Darby and assistance was rushed from Clifton Heights, Landsdowne, and from the Fifth District of Delaware County which includes Colwyn. When the apparatus arrived, smoke was issuing from a number of the windows, and the entire building soon burst into flame.
Water froze on the ground and coats as fast as it fell. The row of houses near the plant soon caught on fire and ignited like tinder.
The thirteen companies that responded could not save the plant nor the residences, but they aided materially in the prevention of the total destruction of the district. There were five American-LaFrance, one Stutz, one Hale and one Mack pumper in operation, and ten streams were used with nozzles varying in size from 7/8-inch to 1 1/8-inch.
Seven hydrants were used and the average distance between hydrants was six hundred feet. The hydrants are supplied by a gravity water system.
Courtesy, The Philadelphia Inquirer
It is believed that a passing locomotive discharged a spark that set fire to a large billboard near the railroad tracks. The strong wind that was blowing communicated the fire to the plant of the Roberts Filter Manufacturing Company and from there in turn, the fire brands were blown on to the row of residences. The loss on the plant has been estimated at $500,000.
Nebraska Firemen Meet Next Week—Plans are being completed for the convention of the Nebraska Volunteer Firemen’s Association to be held at Columbus, Neb., on January 18-20. It is estimated that 1,400 members will attend this gathering.