The Dealey Factory Fire in Detroit.
Lack of water at a fire in the premises of the E G, Dealey Preserving company at Fourteenth and Merrick avenues, Detroit, Mich., handicapped so severely by Chief Broderick and his firemen that, before the flames were extinguished $50,000 worth of damage was done, the salvage consisting of only a desk, in which, however, were some valuable papers. The building in which the tire broke out was a 2-story frame structure, occupying almost an entire block It was an old structure stoutly built, with timbers dried and hardened through age. These, when oner alight, flared fiercely and caused the dames to spread very rapidly throughout the entire building, in addition to the lack of water, the operations of the firemen were considerably hampered by the proximity of the Fourteenth avenue viaduct. Long lutes of hose had to he laid, and the men seired every point from whence they could throwstreams on the blare Within a few minutes after the department had arrived the north wall of the build mg collapsed, followed almost immediately by that of the rear walls and a portion of the roof, the debris from both of wh’ch went through the second and first floors to the basement. carrying with it. contents valued at *⅞⅛Several of the firemen had narrow escapes for their lives; but only one was injured. Iris hand be mg badly cut by falling glass. Bv dint of very hard work the big furniture factory of the J. C. Wkteian company cm the opposite side of the street, was saved, the efforts of the firemen in that direction being seconded by the employes, who bad lines of hose stretched along the roof of the building, ready for anv emergency.
I he cause of the fire and the exact place of origin are not known; but it may have originated in the engineroom or a iparleq from a passing locomotive may have lit oil the wooden sroof r and started the blaze. At first sight the latter seemed the more likely cause; as, being Sunday, there had been no fire in the furnace since noon on Saturday. But, as flames were issuing from a front window when the fire was . discovered,by a passerby on the outside, -it is more probable that it began somewhere inside, though why the watchman was not aware of the fact that the premises were afire does not appear. The first alarm brought two engine companies, A second was turned in. which; broughtChief Broderick, twq engine companies? an atix diary company and another truck. It was impossible, however, to save the building, which was valued at $17,000, owing to the water pressure being inadequate from the start, and in the case of an old long and straggling frame structure, with one almost continuous open floorspace, and, where that was not the case, rooms separated off hy wooden partitions, wooden stairways, and flooring of the same material, a large number of heavy streams continuously thrown was called for. That, however, was unattainable, as the mains in that section of Detroit are not of sufficient capacity to carry water enough for anything approaching to a serious fire—a fault, which Chief Broderick finds in’one or two other parts of the city—one that can be remedied only by laying larger mains.