Rubbish Near a Furnace Causes Bad Fire at Fergus Falls
An illustration of exactly the kind of hazard that Fire Prevention Day was instituted to combat, was afforded by a recent fire at Fergus Falls, Minn., in which the First State Bank, a large business building, was seriously damaged. The fire was caused by litter in the basement becoming ignited from the furnace heat. The fire was discovered by a passerby, at 4 a. m., and he at once notified the department, but the basement was thoroughly involved when Chief D. Prentiss arrived in command of thirty men, with an equipment of a Silsby steamer , and an American-LaFrance triple combination truck. The building was three stories in height, of brick construction and about thirty years old, located in the center of the city on a 75,-foot street. The street main was 12 inches and six 6-inch double hydrants, 300 feet apart, were available. Chief Prentiss found it necessary to use smoke helmets with which his department was fortunately provided, and the fire was so energetically fought that, notwithstanding the hold it had gained when discovered, it was stopped without actual destruction of the property and was prevented from spreading to other buildings. Two thousand feet of cotton rubber-lined hose were laid and four streams at a time were thrown—two hydrant and two engine. There was no lack of water as the triple combination engine drafted from the river. The fire was stopped after burning nearly eight hours, causing a loss of $24,000 on the $60,000 building and a loss of $20,000 on the contents, valued at $27,000. Besides the bank offices, the structure was occupied by a restaurant, millinery, shoe and barber shops, business offices and dwelling rooms.
Hanford, Cal., is installing new fire alarm boxes and repairing old ones, which will bring the alarm, system to a high state of efficiency, extending the service to newly built-up sections.