Storage Warehouse Fire in Newark.
Nearly every fireman in the city of Newark. N. J., was called out on January 3 for a four-alarm fire in the Knickerbocker Storage Warehouse in Arlington street, between William and Court streets. The flames started in one of the four-story buildings in the group, on the second floor,—there are three buildings, one eight stories high and two of four stories. The eight-story building was of fireproof construction, but less than an hour after the first alarm the top floor in the rear had caught. At 2.15 p. m. the fifth, sixth and seventh floors were also ablaze, and the firemen had been ordered back in the fear of possible falling walls. John Mulligan, proprietor of the storage warehouse, said the cause of the fire was a defective telephone wire. He said the wire became crossed with an elctric light wire. Although the fire broke out at 12:45. no flames were seen until an hour later. The smoke was of inky blackness and the firemen had a hard time combating it. The heavy, dense atmosphere seemed to press the smoke to the ground and choked and blinded the firemen. It was also an unusual experience for the Newark firefighters to cope with a blaze eight stories in the air. At l :45 o’clock the flames broke through the rear windows of the storage plant and attacked the rear of the plant of the Newark Embroidery Works. All the employes, including many girls, had been ordered out of the embroidery works in ample time to prevent disorder, and the firemen soon had several streams playing on the building. The Ferris corset factory employs more than five hundred girls. On account of stock taking no girls were at work. The flames finally broke through the pall of smoke, leaping fifty feet above the roof of the eight-story building with a roar that could be heard for blocks. Nineteen engines, four trucks and the water tower were called out. The engines included sixteen summoned on the four alarms and three for which special calls were sent out. In addition an extra hose tender was called. This left only three engines and three trucks to cover the remainder of the city. On the first alarm the apparatus which answered were engines 1, 3, 7 and 20 and truck No. 1; on the second those called were engines 4, 6, 12 and 22 and truck 3; the third alarm brought out engines 2, 5. 10 and 11 and truck 5: the fourth alarm summoned engines 9, 14. 15 and 18 and truck 2. The water tower was called specially after the first alarm. When the water tower arrived the flames had not broken into the eight-story structure and it was ordered to take position at the south end of the fourstory building. There it did effective work and the need of more apparatus like it was made apparent when the flames belched out of the upper floors of the bigger building. The firemen had to betake themselves, with their heavy host lines, to the roofs of adjoining structures in order to get at the mounting flames. It was pretty hard work getting a stream up to the lifth-story level and valuable time was lost in stretching hose through the other buildings. The first alarm was sent from box 234. at Shipman and William streets, at 12:29 o’clock. The second alarm came in about 12:38, the third at 1:36 and the fourth at 1:38 o’clock. The last four-alarm fire was that in the plant of L. Goldsmith & Sons, trunk man ufacturers, at Cherry and North Canal streets, October 20. 1908. Like the Knickerbocker fire, it was a daytime blaze, having been discovered about 9 o’clock in the morning. Two days afterwarfls the fire again broke out. necessitating considerable work on the part of the department.