Wall Paper Plant Fire Caused by Hot Ashes in Delaware
Complete destruction of the Jacob Thomas Company’s wall paper plant near the centre of Newark, Del., resulted from a fire which started in the ash pit and was caused by overheated ashes in the pit backed with galvanized iron on a wooden frame. The plant occupied an area 350 by 290 feet, and part of it was twenty years old, but additions had been built, and as these were erected no fire windows were used on the old building and the glass windows remained unprotected. There were partition walls and there were fire doors in some parts of the building. The structure was of brick with pitch roof and was 2 and 3 stories high and the unprotected windows assisted the spread of the flames throughout the plant. At 6.35 a. m. a watchman discovered the blaze and the alarm was given on the factory whistle. Chief C. E. Wilson responded with two engines and a hose cart and forty firemen and 5 streams, all but one of which were engine streams, were directed on the fire. Chief Wilson found dense volumes of smoke pouring from the building. The structure was equipped with a fire protection system, but it had been frozen and had been thawed, but no hose connected. One thousand seven hundred feet of hose were laid. Five hydrants were available and water was obtained from a 6-inch and a 10-inch main.