Telephone Alarm Delay—$400,000 Fire Loss

Telephone Alarm Delay—$400,000 Fire Loss

As a result of delay in sending in an alarm a fire totally destroyed the Shippers’ Compress Warehouse at Montgomery, Ala., on January 20, according to a report furnished by Fire Chief R. E. Nixon. The fire was discovered at 10:20 P.M. by the night watchman, who immediatly attempted to turn in an alarm by telephone. However, he could not get the operator and after waiting some time he ran to the engine house, a distance of about four blocks, and gave the alarm. In consequence of this delay, when the fire department arrived, the building was a mass of flames. The structure occupied 391 x 336 feet and had been biiilt about four years. There were twenty-five men at the fire and the apparatus consisted of two American-LaFrance pumpers and one combination. Eight 4 and 6-inch double hydrants were available, spaced from 50 to 300 feet apart, with a pressure of 90 pounds at the hydrant. Five engine and three hydrant streams were thrown, with nozzles from 1 1/8 to inches, the mains being from six to twelve inches. In all 4,000 feet of hose were laid. The only private protection on the premises consisted of water barrels and hose connections. I hese were of no service owing to the rapidity with which the fire spread, and to the fact that only one watchman was on the spot. The building, which was valued at $40,000, was a total loss, and the contents, valued at $375,000 and consisting of cotton, were also practically destroyed.

The Indianapolis, Ind., fire department, which has maintained its own repair department for the repair of fire fighting apparatus for three years, has added a paint shop department where all of the apparatus will be painted. This department has been placed in charge of James Moore who was with Engine II and is a very competent painter. Mr. Moore has also decorated a number of the stations throughout the department.

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