Water Conditions at the Edison Fire
In response to inquiry as to the water available at West Orange, N. J., during the fire at the Thomas A. Edison, Inc., plant on December 9, Superintendent P. H. Glannau of the West Orange Water Company, made the following statement: “The Edison Plant on the East Side is close to the dividing line of the City of Orange and the Town of West Orange, and as both the City of Orange and the West Orange Water Company supply water to this plant, it is plain to see that water was available from both water systems. In addition to this the Edison plant has a very well developed water system of their own, and considering the above facts, the writer can assure you that there was ample water to meet all conditions during the time of the fire. The West Orange Water Company’s mains completely surround this plant as follows: On the west side by an 8-inch C. I. main, on the north side by a 6-inch C. I. main, fed by one 8-inch, one 6-inch and one 4-inch main from a lower point of intake than the 8-inch on the west side, making two different sources of supply, on the east and south side by 6incli mains. West Orange being a mountain town, with variations from 115.0 feet to 668.0 feet above sea level, it is necessary for our water system to be divided into three levels, known as Mountain, Middle and Low Services; Mountain pressures range from 30 lbs. to 212 lbs.; Middle Service from 110 lbs. to 140 lbs., and Low Service from 05 to 90 lbs. During the hours from 7.45 p. m. on the night of the 9th inst., to 6.45 a. m., the 10th inst., all of these three services was thrown into one, thus maintaining a big volume of water with pressures on four high class auto pumping engines ranging from 65 to 101 pounds pressure on suction gauge. Here let us state that some remarkable endurance tests were made on the following auto engines: West Orange Fire Department No. 1, approximately a thirteen hour run without a single shut down; Engine Companies Nos. 21, 23, 24, of Newark Fire Department, with approximately eleven hours run, each without a shut down. Above engines pumped from West Orange Water Company mains. In addition to the above named engines, we had a standard fire hose connection during the entire time of the fire with a hydrant pressure of from 80 to 95 pounds from our mains on the north side of plant.