Watertown Department Much Hampered In Paper Mill Fire
Confronted with the necessity of dragging every foot of hose to the fire, owing to the fact that the engines could not pass along the roads, which were congested with piles of pulp-wood logs, the firemen at Watertown, N. Y., had more difficulty in getting their lines on the fire at the International Paper Company’s mill recently, than they did in the actual handling of the fire. The department was in command of Chief H. C. Bundy, and its apparatus consisted of one 750 and one 350 gallon American-LaFrance triple combination pumpers, one Metropolitan steamer, two combination wagons and a service wagon. On the premises were a hose reel and 500 feet of hose. The building was from one to four stories in height, situated on the south side of Sewall Island, and covered a space of 500 square feet. It was 35 years old, and was constructed of brick and wood, with partition walls of the same materials. The fire was discovered by a workman at 5 a. m., who pulled an alarm from the street box. None of the employees, a few of whom were on the ground, were injured, but two tramps who were sleeping in the building were burned to death. The distance between hydrants was 200, 400 and 1,200 ft., with the nearest 500 ft. from the fire, and the consequent lack of pressure, hampered the firemen greatly in their work. Three hydrant and six engine streams were thrown, a deluge set being in use. Nozzle sizes were from 1 to 1⅛ inches. In all, 5,650 feet of hose were laid. One engine and one triple combination pumper drafted water from the river, and these were the most effective lines used by the department. After five hours’ work the fire was finally brought under control. The building was valued at $40,000 and the loss was $25,000; the contents, calendars, digesters, etc., were valued at $60,000, and suffered a loss of $40,000, which, considering the difficulties under which the department worked, was a very good showing.