THE RECENT BIG EIRE AT BROCKTON.
Special report to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
The recent big fire at Brockton, Mass., that destroyed a large number of business places, fully tested the efficiency of the fire department, and gave Chief Harry L. Marston a hard battle for several hours. That he succeeded in confining the conflagration to the block in which it originated may be attributed to his good judgment and the use of steamers. Although the pressure at the hydrants showed fifty to fifty-five pounds, no plug streams were thrown: but a sufficient number of engines was employed to deal with a dangerous situation. The fire was in the principal business part of the city, where the usual variety of wares was carried in stock. The buildings were four stories high and, for the most part, built of brick and iron, with wooden partitions and floors. The lire area covered a space of 8,000 feet, all of which was involved at one time, when the fire was at its worst point. There were, twelve three-way six-inch hydrants available; but they were set from 300 to 400 feet apart, which was a disadvantage in so important a part of the city. The streets adjoining the buildings are fifty and thirtv feet wide, so that sufficient space was afforded to work the apparatus with good effect. When the department arrived, the tire had made considerable headway, so that Chief Marston at once sent in a second alarm, which brought four Amoskeag. three Silsby. one Clapp & Jones and one La France engines to the scene. In a short time eighteen streams from one to one inch and a half diameter were playing on the flames, while Baker cellar pipes and Bresnan nozzles were used effectively in operating in the cellars, which were stored with all kinds of inflammable merchandise. The extent of the fire area covered may be imagined from the fact that 10,950 feet of hose were laid, and there were few mishaps from bursts or other causes. After steady and persistent work, the fire was got under control in three hours, with comparatively small loss, when the extent and nature of the property involved is taken into consideration. The loss on property destroyed was $105,343.58: insurance on buildings, $211,250, on contents, $178,750. It has not been definitely discovered from what cause the fire originated; but it is presumed it started in some loose material in the basement of one of the buildings.