TENTH BIG FIRE AT CONEY ISLAND
The tenth big fire at Coney Island in fifteen years took place early in the morning of July 9 in the rear wing—the skating rink—of Pabst’s Loop hotel, in Surf avenue near West Sixth street. In ten minutes the whole building was afire, and the flames spread to George Vandeveer’s hotel next door. On the south side of Pabst’s hotel is the Culver line station of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit system, and to that, also, the flames extended. The wind was at first favorable, to the other buildings, but it suddenly shifted round, and these shared the same fate. The business heart of Coney Island was now threatened right up to Luna Park. All that portion is of frame construction, the most of it very flimsy, and very much congested. The shifting of the wind, however, saved that ruin. Three alarms which were turned in summoned fire engines from Bath Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Brooklyn, and Deputy Chief Lally, on being telephoned to that the local conditions were such that the Coney Island firemen could not control the fire, came down with haste in his automobile and turned in a fourth alarm which brought more apparatus from Port Hamilton and other points. The high-pressure system was also turned on full, from four to eight lines of hose being attached to each hydrant used. The change in the wind had as much to do as anything with controling the fire after it had raged for quite two hours. The whole of the property attached was of frame, tery old, very dry after the intense heat and as inflammable as tinder. It was, therefore, fortunate that the wind veered round at it did, just in the nick of time. So far as the high-pressure system was concerned, it worked no better on this occasion than it did a year ago, when Stauch’s stout brick fire-wall stopped the Steeplechase fire. The Culver terminal fire was stopped at this last fire; but the others were not saved. The loss was $200,000. There have been ten large fires at Coney Island since 1893, when on June 17 $50,000 damage was done to the resort, and on January 6 of the same year it was stricken by a $200,000 blaze. The other fires were as follows: April 8, 1894, $50,000; May 16, 1895, $250,000 to $350,000; September 28, 1896, $25,000; May 27, 1899, nearly $1,000,000; June 27, 1899, $3S,ooo; June 12, 1900, $250,000; November i, 1903, $1,000,000, and last year, on July 29, when $1,500,000 damage was done.