The Bromley Fire.
The fire which occurred in the extensive works of John Bromley & Sons at Philadelphia last Saturday has been investigated by the tariff association as well as by several competent and reliable special hazard experts. All unite in the opinion that the fire originated in the two-story and basement picker house, which adjoined and communicated with the four-story and basement mill.
The several surveys of this fire show that the openings between these buildings were protected by heavy metal-clad sliding doors, with stone sills, and that all windows in main mill above the picker house were similarly guar_____ed. The mill is favorably located for fire department protection—one steamer being only three blocks distant—and the mill had two good capacity duplex pumps, with 500 feet of two and one-half inch rubber lined hose. Had these doors and windows been closed at the time the fire would undoubtedly have been confined to the picker building, with a loss not exceeding $15 000, whereas now the companies will be called upon for about $350,000.
There is reliable evidence that the doors and windows were not closet!, as the examination of the ruins shows some of the shutters on the main mill over the picker house to be still fastened open, and the smoke outlines of all still show plainly on the wall. One of thesatety doors has since been found intact and wedged wide open on itsslide. This is the second fire that has occurred in Philadelphia this month where the damage has been largely augmented by failure to keep fire doors and shutters properly closed. The machinery in the picker house had not been in operation for twenty-four hours, and the theory is that the origin of the fire was connected in some way with the machinery, repairs being made at the time. The recent large mill fires at Philadelphia have discouraged a number of insurance companies, and it would not be surprising if the list of companies which now decline Philadelphia mills should be considerably enlarged. The mills with their ordinary hazards have been unprofitable, and become doubly so if the hazard of carelessness is added. The responsibility, business and moral standing of the Bromley firm are beyond question.