Serious Fire at Lexington
Chief W. A. Jesse of the Lexington, Ky., fire department, was confronted with a serious fire, on May 21, in one of the most dangerous blocks in that city, having two livery barns, one paint store and four furniture stores in the one block and being located in the business district. The contents of the buildings in the block included bardware, paints furniture, leather goods, stationary, drugs and livery vehicles. Sparks, car_____ied by the wind, set fire to a church, destroying it. By effective work Chief Jesse and the de_____artment had the fire under control in six hours, keeping the loss down to $124,300 on buildings valued at $230,000 and $153,000 on contents valued at $184,500. The fire started, cause unknown, in a livery bam. metal clad and about 25 years old, at the corner of a forty foot street and a fifteen foot alley, this narrow alley proving a handicap to the firemen in their work. A citizen discovered the fire at 2.10 A. M. and gave a verbal alarm. The flames were already so far advanced that Chief Jesse found the stable falling in and three other buildings already burning. Back of the livery barn was an eight-foot alley, then a three story building with no partition walls, open all the way through the block to a fiftv foot street. Back of this building, occupied by a hardware, farm implement and vehicle store, was a fifteen foot court and at a livery ham beyond this the fire was stopped in its progress along the fifteen foot alley. Along the forty foot street was an office building with all windows unprotected. This building extends to the fifty foot street along which were a harness store, with unprotected windows, the front of the harware store and two furniture stores, at the second of which Chief Jesse succeeded in checking the fire. The dimensions of the block are 350 feet at the front and rear and 300 feet along the side. Chief Jesse had fifty firemen at the fire and the following apparatus: One Ahrens-Fox 1,000-gallon motor pumping engine, which worked fourteen hours through four lines of hose into a turret pipe; one Knox 700-gallon pumping engine, which pumped ten hours through a ladder pipe; one aerial truck and six hose companies. Nintetecn hydrants, of the six-inch double type, were available. Nineteen hydrants and five engine streams were thrown, 7,000 feet of hose being used. The water supply w-as from the direct pumping system and the pressure at the hydrants was 125 pounds, furnishing good plug streams. One turret pipe, a ladder pipe and a deluge set were used. It was 3.40 A. M., when the Presbyterian Church, about three blocks away from the main fire, was found to be afire, having caught from sparks lodging in a corner of the tower. The chur ing through the burning timbers to the fir-t floor and scattering fire throughout the structure which was ruined, only the outer walls remaining.
Chief Jesse sent the following letter on May 23 to the Ahrens-Fox Fire Engine Company, telling of the work performed by the Ahrens-box motor pumping engine at the fire: “Gentlemen: Thought perhaps you would like to know how your 1,000-gallon pump performed during our fire on 21st of this month. This was one of the largest and worst firethe department has had to contend with in years; it covered half block in business district, there was two livery barns, three furniture stores and one paint shop in this block, which made it a very hot one. Your 1,000-gallon pump paid for itself on this one fire, as it pumped for 14 hours through 4 line of hose connected into turret pipe throwing a 2inch stream; it worked beautifully never making a skip during the It hours it was working. Every -body in Lexington is well pleased with the machine.”