Stove Factory Fire at Richmond.

Stove Factory Fire at Richmond.

The Richmond, Va., Stove company recently suffered a heavy loss by a fire in their building on Main street, between Twentyfifth and Twenty-sixth streets. The building, which was not sprinklered, was built fifty years ago of brick and heavy timber, and was of very large size, occupying, as it did, a full block on Main street, and being half a block deep, 300×150 ft. In front it was three stories high; in the rear, four. The width of the street in front was too ft., and there were laid on it 4-in. and 6-in. mains, on which were set to available double hydrants, some with 2 to 2}4-in. outlets; others with outlets of 154-in. and one with 2}4-in. outlet. The pressure on these was from 30 to 50 lb., and all were within 300 ft. of each other, though some were set two on a corner. The fire, whose cause is unknown, when discovered, had broken out on the second floor in the rear about too ft. from the east end, and the flames had become very threatening when the first pieces of apparatus arrived, bursting out of the windows in the front and rear ot the building, showing that they had been burning inside for some time before they were discovered. Although the building was devoted to the manufacture of stoves, it contained, besides the machinery and the material used in turning out the company’s products, a large amount of wood in the shape of patterns and for their construction. The wooden floors, also, had been for years the recipients of dropped oil and grease, the ceilings and roof timbers were very old and during the half century of their being in position had become so dried by the heat as to be practically mere matchwood. If there had been an automatic sprinkler apparatus, that element of danger, at least, would have been lessened to a very great degree. And when to these sources ot peril were added wooden stairways, hoists, and large open spaces, there is no reason for wonder that the flames obtained such a great hold, spread so rapidly and burned so fiercely. The fire department was present in great force, with nine engines, two first-size, two second-size, and three third-size American-La F’rance, one first-size and one thirdsize Amoskeag, two Hayes aerial trucks 75 and 85-ft., six combination chemical wagons, two ordinary hose wagons and two supply wagons. 1 he lines of cotton, rubber-lined hose from the engines varied in length from 100 to 1,500 ft., of which only one length burst. No special fire tools were used, only ordinary fire nozzles 154 to I Mi-in. No hydrant streams were used until wetting down, only engine streams were employed, ten being thrown at once. I n most cases the water supply from the gravity system was adequate. The loss on the property was estimated at $60,000; but no accurate report has been given out. The whole loss was fully covered by $105,000 insurance. The first alarm was pulled by a policeman, who stated that the flames were away out in the street when he saw them. A second alarm was pulled in four minutes, followed by three special calls, each summoning an engine. The fire department’s work was all that could be desired.

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