THE LATEST WARNING FROM THE RIVER FRONT.
The horrors and destruction of the fire on the Hoboken. N. J., water front on June 30, 1900, were barely averted last Tuesday night, when the British Queen, of the Phoenix line, took fire in her dock. The flames rapidly spread along the wooden pier and set light to the cotton, hay, and other inflammable goods piled upon it, and to the adjoining lighters, piers, and ships. Good work on the part of the Hoboken firemen, the greater number of New York’s fireboats, and a fleet of tugs, saved the adjoining property from utter loss, though the British Queen was totally destroyed, the Heathburn was badly damaged, the Maasdam was singed, some ten or twelve lighters laden with cotton were burned and sunk, and two lives were lost. The lighters that were not burned pursued a wild and erratic career down the North River. One touched, destructively at that, at three different points, and finally, defiantly hearing up. all ablaze, off Governor’s Island, set fire to some buildings there, and kept the soldiers there and the Seth Low in the stream wide awake and on the jump, as she had kept Chief Crokcr and ten engine companies in Manhattan, till the flames were got under. The New York department took full charge of the fire from the river front, while the Hoboken firemen handled the blaze from the roar—and handled it well and skilfully. All worked harmoniously—even the tugs and so saved a terrible disaster. Such conflagrations teach several lessons: One. that of building piers as nearly fireproof as possible: another, that of keeping them as clear as they can he kept of inflammable goods; a third, that of having always ready a fleet of fireboats on the Jersey side of the North River: and. lastly, of not trusting to night watchmen to turn in alarms from the street boxes, hut of having every pier fitted no with one or more auxiliary fire alarm telegraph signals, hv means of which the fire department can he notified of the fire some seconds, even some minutes earlier, while the ren rest box is being searched for. reached, and pulled, perhaps, as has happened, only to he found out of order.