Western Wheel Works fire

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BUGGY WHEELS ROLLED OUT OF BLAZING PLANT In a Employes Save Large Part of 80,000 Stored in the Western Western Works. BENZINE TANKS EXPLODE Rear Walls Are Blown Down and Wires Broken; Three Workmen Rescued. Employes of the Western Wheel Works, Third and Lombard streets, organized organized themselves into a wheel-rolling wheel-rolling wheel-rolling brigade when the plant caught fire at 8:30 o'clock this morning. They saved part of the stock of 80.000 buggy wheels by rolling them hoop fashion out of the building into Third street and across the street to a vacant lot. Skill in the handling of the wheels enabled the employes to roll them out at great speed without getting in each other's way and without confusion. For half an hour there was an endless pro cession of wheels rolling out through the front doorways of the building, guided by the hands of the employes, each of whom ran back into the building for an other wheel as soon as he had sent his wheel spinning into the vacant lot. The work was kept up until the ad vancing flames and smoke compelled a stop. Lom $60,000 to 75.000. The fire which started in the dry kiln department burned out the interior of the three-story three-story three-story brick building, fronting 75 feet on Third street and 250 feet on Lombard street, causing a loss to the Banner Buggy Co., owners of the wheel works, estimated at from $50,000 to $75,000. The fire burned fiercely, because of the inflammable character of the build ing's contents, and the firemen callel out by a general alarm had a hard fight to prevent It spreading. Three employes, who went back into the building to save their street clothes, became confused on the smoke-filled smoke-filled smoke-filled second floor and were rushing about, in danger of being overcome, when firemen fcund them and assisted them to a fire escape, down which they went to the street. Explosion on Third Floor. Half an hour after the tire started the flames spread from" the rear to the front of the third floor. There was an explosion explosion and flames burst from the roof. Firemen at work on ,'the second floor dropped their hose and slid down the ladders, expecting the walls to collapse, but returned a little later and rescued the hose. The danger was so great, however, that they did not again venture venture into the front part of the upper floors. At about 10 o'clock a triangular section section of the rear wall fell, carrying with it tons of burning fragments of buggy wheels. The debris filled the alley. The firemen prevented the flames from spreading to great quantities of lumber stored In a vacant lot to the north of the building. During the early part of the fire a flock of about 50 wild geese, flying northward, was thrown into consterna tion by the column of smoke. The fowls rose to a greater height and separated into two columns, one of which passed on each side of the smoke, coming together together again farther north. Three hundred barrels of flour, stored in the warehouse of the Saxony Milling Co., across the alley from the wheei works, were damaged by water. There were frequent explosions of benzine, used in the preparation of paints, and an hour after the fire started started a section of the alley wall, 60 feet long, from the second floor to the roof, fell outward. The danger of this had been foreseen and the firemen had been withdrawn from the alley and nobody was hurt. S. E. Becker, manager of the plant, es timated the loss at $75,000. Director of Public Safety Swlngley did not think It would exceed $50,000. Russell Gardner Jr., son of Russell E. Gardner, president Of the Banner Buggy Co., said he had not been able to learn from any of the employes how the fire started. A in so 6 In in a to In to at

Clipped from St. Louis Post-Dispatch07 Apr 1915, WedPage 1

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri)07 Apr 1915, WedPage 1
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  • Western Wheel Works fire

    rdg105 – 02 Feb 2016

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