SAVED BY FIRE-DRILL.
The value of the fire-drill in the public schools of this city was never more perfectly exemplified than it was on Monday morning last, when 25.000 children, boys and girls, down to the tiniest kindergarten tots, marched out in perfect order to the music of the pianos and singing the “Star Spangled Banner” from public school 86 on Lexington avenue and Ninety-sixth street. Although nearly all of the pupils knew that the top part of the building was on tire, there was not the slightest sign of panic or disorder. News of the tire, which was in a storeroom, was conveyed by Miss Blake, one of the grammar department teachers who quietly slipped out of her classroom and notified Principal John J. O’Reilly. He notified tinprincipals of the girls’ and kindergarten departments; the fire-drill gong was sounded: the pianos struck up: the children had their hats, caps and coats handed to them by the monitors from the cloakrooms; accompanied by their teachers they filed down the stairs, and the kindergartners got quietly out of the basement to find that this time it was no false alarm. Meanwhile the principal. with a firefighting corps of janitors and some of the elder boys utilised the fire-extinguishers and fire-buckets till the arrival of the fire depart ment with thirteen engines and two hook and ladder companies, which had been summoned by a special call on the auxiliary alarm system. By the time the firemen had hauled the hose upstairs to the fourth floor, the blaze bad made considerable headway: the flames had eaten through the roof and were spreading rapidly. Part of the roof timbers fell and one of the firemen was severely injured. The flames were confined to the upper story and the roof of the building, which fills about a half block. How the fire originated is unknown; there are no electrical wires in the building, and there was no fire near the place of origin. The loss was about $2,000. Fire escapes should be affixed to this and every other public school in Greater New York.