THE MONROE GARAGE FIRE.
The official report of the garage fire on South Grand street, Monroe, La., shows a condition that exists in a great many structures of a similar kind in all parts of the country. The building is described as “old and oil-soaked from its many years use as a machine shop and garage. The report further says: “The fire started on the second floor and when discovered the entire upper portion of the building was fully involved.” This reads very familiar and ought to cause surprise that such a place should he used for storing valuable property. No doubt Monroe will profit by the lesson and take steps to prohibit such buildings in the city. The loss of two lives makes such a fire more serious and no doubt the incineration of seventeen automobiles, including new high-priced cars, will wake up the owners to see that improved storage for machines is provided in future. But after all the damage done, like that of hundreds of similar fires, is beyond repair and the lesson may prove valuable to chiefs who have conditions like that of Monroe to meet. Inspection snould show where defective and dangerous storage plants exist and no time should he lost to eliminate them or have proper safeguards provided to make fires in them impossible. No doubt every chief knows about the risk involved in having these old oil-soaked wooden structures to protect and he ought to insist that proper fire prevention methods he employed, if not to save such property, at least to lower the risk to others.