Considered Largest Church in Western Part of State—Only Absence of Wind and Good Fire Department Work Stops Conflagration

FIRE of unknown origin destroyed the Hope Congregational Church in Springfield, Mass., considered the largest church in the western part of the state, recently, and caused a loss estimated at $175,000.

The blaze was discovered by a policeman and an alarm sent in at 4:25 a.m. District Chief Horace C. Feltham ordered a second alarm at 4:55 a.m.

It is generally believed that only good work on the part of the Fire Department, and the absence of any wind, prevented a conflagration, for the fire had had considerable headway.

Diagram of Hope Church Fire Zone in Springfield, Mass.

Thirteen lines of hose were laid to keep the fire from spreading to the adjoining community house. Falling slate and ice from the roof were a constant hazard to the firemen. Shortly before 6 a.m., the steeple collapsed into the middle of the church auditorium. As it was impossible to enter the auditorium, firemen and rescue workers attempted to salvage as much as possible from the community house. When the first fire company arrived, flames were breaking from the front dormer window and flames were working up through the partitions. However, it was possible to lay lines to all four side of the structure, and to cool the surrounding buildings.

Only a roofless shell of the church remained. The west side of the community house though not damaged by fire, suffered from the large amounts of water that was poured on it.

Wisconsin Firemen to Meet in Oconto—The annual convention of the Wisconsin Paid Firemen’s Association will be held in Oconto, August 4-6. It is expected that thirty-four Fire Departments in the state will be represented.

Athens, Wis., to Keep Apparatus in Village—The Village Board of Athens, Wis., voted to keep the apparatus within the village limits. Most of the runs outside the town have been wasted for no adequate water supply is available in the rural sections.

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