Staunton, Va., Suffers Heavy Fire Loss.
Fire recently swept for ten hours over the business section of Staunton, Va., destroying sixteen buildings and damaging several others, with a total loss of about $125,000. Chief W. F. Beecher, of the Staunton fire department, writing to this publication says: “The burned area covers nearly a block, the buildings, being constructed of brick, frame and concrete, from one to four stories in height, and with no partition walls or special fire equipments. The fire started about 10:20 p. m. in a blacksmith shop located in the center of the block, the discovery being made by a policeman, who sent in the alarm from a street box. This was responded to by the little fire department with a Nott engine. Upon reaching the scene the flames were found to be well under way, and together with a low water pressure and a labyrinth of telephone and telegraph wires, the firemen found more than they were able to cope with. However, they attacked the fire with all their available means. There were seven 4-inch double hydrants in the vicinity, hut located 800 feet apart. The streets are about thirty feet wide through which 4-inch and 6-inch water mains run. The water is pumped from a reservoir, and at the time of the fire it was impossible to get good plug streams owing to the fact that the pressure varied from 40 to 80 pounds. Fourteen hundred feet of cotton rubberlined hose were stretched, and aside from the one stream from the Nott. eight hydrant streams were operated through ¾-inch and 1 ⅛-inch nozzles. Some of the frame buildings being very old. they burned rapidly, and considering the many adverse conditions with which the fire department had to contend, the efforts of the men were highly commendable. The contents of the buildings included grain, feed and farming implements.”