Topeka Fire Loss Over Estimated.
This magazine is informed from the most reliable source that the recent fire in Topeka, Kan. which broke out in a business block, caused a loss of less than $20,000 instead of $110,000, and as reported in the daily press. The portions destroyed covered an area of 25 x 150 feet, the building being of brick and stone, two stories high and about 40 years old. It had brick partition walls. When discovered, about 1 a. m. the flames were at work in different parts of the building, which leads to the belief that the fire was of incendiary origin. Defective partition walls permitteed the fire to get into the adjoining structure. When the fire department arrived the fire had gained much headway. One steamer, six hose, including two combination chemicals, two chemical engines, one aerial truck and one city truck responded. Eight hydrants were used; 3,500 feet of cotton, rubber-lined hose being laid, with 1 1/8 and 1 1/4-inch nozzles. Two hydrants were 6-inch three-ways, and six were 4-inch doubles. Two engine and five hydrant streams were thrown. The street at this juncture is 130 feet wide, through which a ten inch water main courses. The direct pumping systems furnished ample pressure for good hydrant streams The building where the broke out and to which it was confined, was valued at $25,000, and the contents at $20,000. The fire was a very threatening one considering the locality, and the headway it had attained when the alarm was given, and Chief Wilmarth came in for considerable praise for the department’s good work in confining the flames to the structure where it started.
Whether or not the fire protection is sufficient is the question being considered by the police and fire commission of Fresno, Cal. There is a feeling that the water supply is inadequate and that other details of system need investigation.