The Pivotal Point of a Fire.
Fire experts establish by statistics that the pivotal point of a fire is the $50,000 mark; that is to say, while since 1856 there have been about 40,000 fires, doing $97,000,000 damage, 327 of them did more than $53 000 000 damage. There were “special” fires of more than $50,000 each, which dwarfed the average of the 39,670 other fires to about $1100 per fire. When the fire has passed the $50,000 mark, a much heavier loss may be looked for. Oddly enough, the fires that have in 35 years done the most damage have started in bnildings that cost the least to erect. The greatest average loss has been from stables, where the fire has got beyond control, so as to involve other buildings. The average loss of “ special ” stable fires is nearly $250,000, but this average was raised by the Fourth avenue (New York) stable fire, which licked up the Thirty-second street storage warehouse. Candle factories and oil mills come next, because, perhaps, of the fire which swept away the Vanderbilt elevators, and next come mercantile concerns, through the vast sums lost by large ** dry goods district ” fires.
There is a wide difference between the average of “ specials,’’ $210,000, and the next important class, sugar refineries and steam confectioneries, whose average is about $150,000. Next in importance are markets, average$i36,ooo ; metal workers, $126,000 ; churches, $117,000; distilleries and breweries, $111,000; steamboats and sail craft, $108,000; theatres, etc., the same; woodworkers, $107,000; printers, etc., the same, and so on down to lumber yards, whose average is $63,000. The average loss on all “ specials ” is less than $164,000.