Winchester Factory Destroyed.
Winchester, N. H., was recently the scene of a fire, which completely destroyed the Winchester tannery and caused a loss to buildings and contents of close upon $100,000. The tannery was situated in the northern part of the city, and was a large wooden, non-sprinklered building, varying in height from 1 story to 4 stories, the greater part being 1-story. The structure generally was very old indeed, some of it having been built from seventy-five to one hundred years, the 4-story portion being somewhat more modern. The cause of the blaze is unknown, and it must have been undiscovered for at least forte-five minutes, as, when the department arrived, the whole of the old part of the building was full of fire. The engine at first used to fight the flames was a Silsby, which gave out in an hour and a half. Keene sent a Button engine. There were no hydrants available: the best that could he done was to throw two to three engine streams, three being the most that were thrown at one time. From 1,200 to 1,500 ft. of cotton, rubberlined hose were laid, none of whicn burst while being used. The nozzles employed were ⅞-in.. 1-in. and 1-56-in. Deluge and Eastman. The width of the street in front of the damaged property is 30 ft.; hut no main is laid upon it. 1 he loss on the building and machinery was about $75,000; on the contents—sheepskins, from raw to finished—$20,000; insurance, about $100,000. The fire department, under Chief Glenroy W . Scott, has a membership of about titty, part paid. Its equipment consists of the following: Steamer; hand-engines: truck; hose carriages, with some 3,000 ft. of hose. The source of the water supply is the river and cisterns. The system is direct pumping. O11 the occasion of this fire, the department did well to save as much as it did, the only building burned being the main shop. All the buildings in the yard, consisting of storehouse, barns, shops and dwelling, were saved. It is evident, however, that the fire department was not given a fair chance. The team to haul the apparatus did not show up; the engine had to be hauled by hand, and then had to wait for the hose wagon. The fire alarm, also, whistle and hell. is very poor. As Winchester enjoys no promise of any special exemption from fires, and as a large number of its buildings are of wood, the fire department should he adequately equiped; horses should always be procurable: a proper tire alarm system “should be installed: and there should be no lack of water supply, mains and hydrants. It is not fair to expect a fire department to do good work when it labors under such disabilities as that at Winchester, and some day or another, when a big conflagration sweeps the city and destroys a large amount of property, with possibly loss of life, the municipal authorities will wake up to the tact that they have been very remiss in the line of providing adequate nre protection.
The re-election of E. S. Hosmer, the veteran fire chiel of Lowell, Mass., is being strongly and deservedly urged by that city’s board of fire underwriters, as well as by his fellow citizens.