Fighting a Fire (Google eBook)

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Century Company, 1900 - Fire extinction - 246 pages
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Page 37 - ... follow them to the scene of action. When we watch the men working at a fire, occupying most perilous and hazardous positions, on the roofs of buildings and upon ladders, suffering tortures from smoke and flames, we can scarce suppress exclamations of admiration for the daring manner in which they so coolly face what seems to our eyes almost certain death. Every city in the United States shows local pride in its firemen. Each claims that its department is one of the best (if not the best) in the...
Page 112 - The chief then divided us up, sent out a second [a second alarm], and we sailed in to drown it out ; 27 engine got the rear ; 7 engine the stairway, to keep it from coming up ; and our company, 29, got the front. We pried open the iron cellar doors on the pavement, only to find that the elevator, used to carry freight to the bottom, had been run up to the top. Here were four inches of Georgia pine to cut through ! And phew! such work in such smoke! Well, we got through this, opened it up, and ...
Page 108 - No word of the punishment and suffering the men were forced to face before this fire was under control; no mention of the dash after dash into the cellar with the heavy line of hose, only to be driven back to the street by the smoke, or to be dragged out afterward nearly unconscious ; nor of the thud after thud with the heavy axes on the thick iron grating that required twenty or thirty blows before any impression could be made on it. This was muscle-straining, lungtaxing work that the average man...
Page 108 - ... mortally wounded. It is not always the fire that makes the biggest show that is the hardest to fight. The fire that goes roaring through the roof of a building, lighting up the city for miles around, is sometimes much more easily subdued than the dull, smoky cellar or sub-cellar fire that forces the men to face the severest kind of "punishment," the effects of which are felt for weeks afterward, before it is controlled. At a sub-cellar fire that occurred one night, a few years ago, on lower Broadway,...
Page 141 - Glancing back as they ran, they were horror-stricken to sec that the little group of firemen had made no effort to escape, but were still kneeling in the same position, as if awaiting their fate. The crash came. The street fairly shook, and volumes of red dust filled the air and obscured the view, while the flames for a moment leaped higher and higher, as if glorying in their victory over the few brave fellows who had been battling against them. The crowd returned, sickened with the expectation of...
Page 107 - We perhaps see none, and pass on our way ; and in the whirl of city life this incident is soon forgotten. And yet this company may return with many of its members bruised and sore, while others are perhaps conveyed to near-by hospitals, mortally wounded. It is not always the fire that makes the biggest show that is the hardest to fight. The fire that goes roaring through the roof of a building, lighting up the city for miles around, is sometimes much more easily subdued than the dull, smoky cellar...
Page 112 - ... the top. Here were four inches of Georgia pine to cut through ! And phew ! such work in such smoke! Well, we got through this, opened it up, and out it all came! No flames, just smoke, and with force enough to suffocate a man in a second. We backed out to the gutter and got a little fresh air in our lungs, and went at it again. We brought a 35-foot ladder over from the truck and lowered it through this opening, and found we could n't touch bottom ! A 45-foot ladder was put down, and only...
Page 16 - first water," as it is called, and the foreman of our company takes precedence of the foremen of all other companies on account of being the first to arrive, and has " charge of the fire " until a battalion-chief arrives, when the foreman turns the command over to him. Our engine follows us quickly, and, dashing up to the hydrant, the hydrant-connection is unshipped from its place in the long tubes that hang over the wheels on both sides of the boiler, and is fastened to the hydrant and then to...
Page 112 - ... touch bottom ! A 45-foot ladder was put down, and only three rungs remained above the sidewalk; this showed that there was over forty feet of cellar and sub-cellar ! And down in this place we had to go with the line. Well, the sooner we got at it the sooner it was over; so, shifting the line over the top rung of the ladder, so it would n't get caught, down we started. It was only forty feet, but I can tell you it seemed like three hundred and forty before we got to the bottom. Of course, when...
Page 112 - ... pavement, only to find that the elevator, used to carry freight to the bottom, had been run up to the top. Here were four inches of Georgia pine to cut through ! And phew ! such work in such smoke! Well, we got through this, opened it up, and out it all came! No flames, just smoke, and with force to suffocate a man in a second. We backed out to the gutter and got a little fresh air in our lungs, and went at it again. We brought a thirty-five foot ladder over from the truck and lowered it...

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