Superior Firemen Check Threatening Fire.
Fire, which for a time, because of the inflammable character of buildings and contents in the vicinity of the flames, recently threatened to sweet the bay front east and west from Tower bay slip for some distance, did approximately $20,000 damage, at Superior, Wis., before it was gotten under control. Only the hardest kind of work and the fearlessness of the firemen, who risked their lives removing tanks of naptha, held the loss to so small a figure. A correspondent of this magazine writes: “A waterfront fire here came near being a very disastrous conflagration, as the fire started in the gasolene on top of the waters of Tower bay slip, which was crowded with boats and launches, and right underneath was a large wooden warehouse filled with barrels of oils of different kinds. Buried in the ground alongside the warehouse are two 12,000-gallon tanks of gasolene, and one 12,000-gallon tank of kerosene. Leakage from a break in the filling pipe let a large amount of gasolene escape, and run out on the water while unloading from tank-cars. This was ignited, and before the fire was controlled two ferryboats and two launches were destroyed, and the wooden dock destroyed for a distance of 300 feet. The fire burned fietcely for over two hours and several times communicated to the warehouse, but was controlled before doing much damage. I send you a photograph showing the fire after it was somewhat under control. The department used one extra first size Continental engine and one second size Ahrens engine. Four lines from engines and five lines from hydrants were employed; 4,500 feet of 2½-inch hose, seven 1 1/4-inch nozzles, and two cellar nozzles were used. The department worked at the fire from 2 o’clock until 8 o’clock p. m. Chief Randal, of Duluth, sent a company to help protect the rest of the city during the fire. Two harbor tugs with small pumps also helped during fire. Work is now under way to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.”
Manager H. M. McKenzie, of the Northwestern Oil Company, was enthusiastic in his praise of the work of Chief Olaf Johnson and his men, declaring that the seemingly impossible had been accomplished in keeping the flames away from the warehouse of the company, which adjoins the dock burned. “The idea that there was any danger of the underground tanks exploding,” said Mr. McKenzie, “is all wrong, for the controlling devices are especially devised to avoid such danger. The warehouse itself just adjoining could burn and not endanger the tanks.” The tug Sinclair and the ferryboat Ideal gave assistance with their own force pumps and in taking lines from the shore to points where they could be directed at the flames under the docks.