Simultaneous Fires Require All Waterbury Apparatus
Three firemen, including Fire Chief Francis T. Scully, were injured, and damage estimated at $300,000, wrecked the four-story brick Armour & Company meat packing plant at 594 West Main Street, Waterbury, Conn., on Sept. 25.
Fireman Charles Luddy, attached to Headquarters, suffered a back injury when he slipped and fell from the shipping platform roof, a distance of 25 feet. Chief Scully fell about six feet from the loading platform on the Commercial Street side of the structure and received a back sprain. He was given medical attention and later returned to the fire. Lieut. John Murphy sustained a broken right wrist while fighting the blaze.
The fire, a blazing inferno, brought out practically the entire Waterbury Fire Department. The top two floors of the building were completely destroyed. The roof over the front of the building on the West Main Street side collapsed. The two bottom floors escaped with little more than smoke and water damage.
The stock, which included meats, provisions, canned goods and other supplies, are a total loss, either from the heat of the fire or by water. Valuable machinery, worth about $25,000, dropped front the fourth floor to the second when the fire was at its height. The top floor was used for a sausage factory, where frankfurters, sausage, cold cuts and the like, were processed. The other half of the fourth floor was used for dry storage of soap, soap powders and supplies.
The third floor was used for storage of canned goods, industrial soaps and powders such as are used by laundries, and quick freezers for meat cuts and poultry, canned hams and other foods.
On the second floor were freezers fo.r meats, lard and other supplies. This floor also housed an egg-candling room and dry storage. On the ground floor was a large cooler for storage of sides of beef and lamb. There were 30,000 pounds of meat in this cooler. The main floor also housed offices of the managers and other employes.
The fire was discovered at 3:46 A.M. by Police Officers Paul Salvatore and Joseph Murphy, who were cruising in a radio car nearby. They immediately radioed an alarm to Fire Headquarters. Operators sent Engines 8, 10, Truck 1 and an Emergency Cay to the scene, along with Deputy Chief James McDonald. At 3:50 A.M. an alarm was received from Box 371, which called out Engines 2, 6 and 9, and Truck 3. Chiet Scully and Deputy Chief Frank Moore responded on this alarm. At 4:13 A.M. Chief Scully ordered Engine 3 to respond.
At 4:26 A.M. another alarm was radioed for additional help, which brought out Engine 1. At 5:08 A.M., on another radio call, Engines 4 and 11 responded. Truck 2 was called to the scene at 5:11 A.M., making nine of the 11 engine companies and the three truck companies in service at the fire. Engines 5 and 7 were the only companies in quarters to cover the city.
Firemen attacked the fire with 10 lines of 2⅛-inch hose, which included lines from deluge sets and ladder pipes. The pressure throughout the fire was 80 pounds at the hydrant, and 200 at the pumpers.
While firemen were fighting the Armour fire, Engines 5 and 7 responded to Anna Avenue to extinguish a blaze in a sofa. Firemen said it was the first time in 32 years that every piece of fire apparatus was out of quarters at one time.
The Eastern Color Printing Company, adjoining the garage in the year of the Armour plant, housed a number of rolls of newsprint. At the height of the fire, the water curtain system of the printing company was turned on for protective purposes. Five large Armour trucks and. three commercial cays were moved from the garage as fire threatened that section. Recall was sounded at 6:10 A.M.