Tin-Clad Fire Shutters.
Seldom are complaints heard of fire appliances or retardouts doing their work too well. But here is an instance which might be classed as exceptional. In a description of a recent fire in Lynn, Mass., S. Oliver Breed writes to the National Fire Protection Association that tinclad fire shutters in the property in question were responsible for increased damage. Mr. Breed says:
“The P. B. Sherry building was a six-story brick structure with a driveway in front and area in the rear between the two sections. There were two elevators without traps and the doors were usually left open. There were cross partitions which obstructed light appearing. In the front, or Munroe street side, the windows were shuttered on the inside with tin-clad shutters fitting very closely and were well cared for. Very seldom have I seen one left open. The fire is supposed to have started on the second lloor in the rear. The shutters being all closed, and the partition intervening, the fire was not discovered until the whole building above the second story was thoroughly on fire, the flames pouring from the thirdstory front windows when the firemen reached the building. The fire was discovered by a night policeman on Oxford street, in the rear of the building. The adjoining buildings were so close on the Monroe street side as to almost touch the walls of this building, but the inside shutters prevented the flame front doing them much damage. The lesson, of this fire to me is that shutters prevent the spread of fire from a building and prevent a fire from entering a building, but also prevent a fire from being seen from the outside in time to save the property. This is the third time within two years that we have had it shown to us here. In the Ashcroft building a barrel of waste took fire, located almost directly under a sprinkler and thermostat. The shutters on that side of the building, there being a large area, were not required to be closed, the light Was seen by an outsider and an alarm pulled in, the firemen being only 600 feet away, got there just as the automatic fire alarm sounded and extinguished the fire before the sprinkler fused. The sprinkler and thermostat were within 2 feet of each other. Within 4 feet of the sprinkler there was some two to three thousand dollars’ worth of shoe upper stock which would have been utterly ruined had the sprinkler started, which would certainly have happened had the alarm been delayed even one minute. The other fire happened under similar conditions. Windows of wired glass would afford protection and not prevent the fire from being seen.”