Stockton Firemen Control Threatening Fire
A spectacular fire swept through a paint shop, destroyed a 2 1/2-story frame dwelling, some 20 vehicles, including a $17,000 truck and trailer, just outside Stockton, Calif. Two other buildings also were damaged before the fire was controlled by county and city firemen. Chief County Fire Warden Walter Cady estimated the damage at $100,000.
The fire apparently started in an oven used to dry newly painted cars about 2:10 P.M. and, fanned by a strong northwest wind, it spread rapidly among the various structures on the property located a block outside the city limits of Stockton.
The first company to respond in answer to the alarm was made up of volunteers. By the time the pumper backed down the dead-end street upon which the buildings were located to lay hose lines the fire had become an inferno.
The Stockton Fire Department was summoned at once and responded promptly, bringing additional lines to bear both on the raging fire and the exposures. Buildings across the street from the burning paint shop grew so hot from radiated heat that they had to be kept wetted down to prevent ignition.
Men braved the heat to move trucks that were in the path of the flames to safety.
Press accounts reported that Art Piper, son of the owner of the shop was “overcome by smoke and fumes from a gas bomb which he had thrown to quell the flames.” No verification of the type or kind of “bomb” used, or of the nature of his injuries, has been received. During the fire, however, there were several minor explosions caused, it is said by paint, and the gasoline and oil in the vehicles in the shop. These explosions accelerated the spread of the flame.—.