SECOND FIFTH-ALARM FIRE IN NEW YORK WITHIN WEEK
Big Furniture Warehouse Blaze Causes Pall of Smoke Over Upper Seetion of City— Thirteen Firemen Overcome and Injured
NEW YORK had its second fire of fifth alarm proportions within a week when flames destroyed the four story furniture warehouse of Deutsch Bros, one East 123rd Street, Saturday afternoon, April 24th.
The fire originated in the cellar about half past one o’clock, from a cause as yet not determined. There were about 25 employees in the warehouse at the time, ten of them being painters and varnishers on the top floor. This is the firm’s busiest season and a fire was the most unwelcome thing that could have happened to the business. The house caters to June brides on the installment plan and has several branch stores throughout the city.
The first alarm brought Batt. Chief Raymond L. George, of the 12 battalion, the busiest fire district in New York. Three engine companies and two truck companies entered the celler only to find that the fire had gained considerable headway and was going up an interior shaft or hoistway. The sidewalk was well occupied with furniture ready for delivery.
Chief George sent in a second alarm which brought Deputy Chief George L. McKenna of the Fifth Division, who sounded a third alarm, bringing Assistant Chief of Department Joseph B. Martin. The rear wall of the brick building had no opening below the third floor; therefore the fire had to be attacked from the front only. Five and six story tenements adjoined the warehouse on both sides. The warehouse has a frontage of about 75 feet and is that much deep as well.
The tirst, second and third alarm companies waged an unsuccessful fight to confine the fire to the cellar. The building became heavily charged and the heat was intense. Forty minutes after the third alarm, the fire “blew” and Chief Martin ordered all hands to the outside. He then sounded a fourth and fifth alarm, Raving him a total of 21 engines, six trucks, a tower, four battalion chiefs, one deputy chief, an ambulance and a gasoline supply truck.
Thirteen members of the department were treated by Dr. Archer, the honorary medical officer. Eight of these were for smoke and five for slight injuries. The serious smoke cases were mainly among the members of Engine Co. 36, the first due engine company.
The humidity caused a pall of smoke to hang low for hours and Harlem was as dark as night for quite some time. The smoke drove tenants from tenements nearby, Fire Commissioner Drennan. Deputy Commissioner Hannon, Chief Inspector Lahey of Police, Fire Commissioner Anderson of Houston, Texas, and Fire Chief Ollre, of that city were among the spectators. Assistant Chief James Hogan, of Bayonne, N. J., who is attending the New York Fire College reported to the commanding officer and went to work with one of the companies in the rear of the building.