THE ACCUSTOMED “DEFECTIVE FLUE.”

THE ACCUSTOMED “DEFECTIVE FLUE.”

IT would seem that the recent burning of the Jefferson hotel at Richmond, Va., is this time not traceable to defective electric wiring, but to our old familiar friend the “detective flue”—the result of the slipshod and non-supervised work of careless workmen, whereby a flue or hot pipe was brought too near to the woodwork. It will require the summary prosecution and equally summary punishment of a host of contractors too indolent to look after their workmen, and of a vast host of criminally negligent and too often venal building inspectors to put down this defective flue and defective wire business. In fact, the class will not become extinct till Its members are held responsible in the eye of the law for allowing such methods of construction to be followed; then they will realize that fires cau be started by something less than a spark, blaze, or live coal coming in contact with combustible material. A heavy fine aud a fairly long term of imprisonment will teach them the somewhat severe lesson that wood, even that which is protected by over half a foot of cement and a layer of superimposed tiling (as was the case in a building recently burned at Norfolk, Va., by a mere wood fire starting the blaze), when subjected to a continued high temperature until thoroughly robbed of moisture, will surely burst into flame “spontaneously.”

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