Tompkins Hall, 1914

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What Raleigh's Old Steamer Did When Called to Service

The work of the five RALEIGH firemen who took the steamer to the fire in the textile building at the A&M College has been commended by the college authorities and by RALEIGH people as well.  A report on what the RALEIGH firemen did at the fire shows that the telephone alarm came in at 3:17 in the morning and that the engine arrived at the scene in eight minutes having been delayed one minute owing to the disconnection of the coupling which attached it to the motor truck which was drawing it.

When the steamer arrived it had 65 pounds of steam on and took water from a hydrant within a few yards of the building, putting on two inches of hose, each giving a stream an inch and a half in diameter.  The chief of the RALEIGH fire department who went out with the apparatus took charge of both the college and the city firemen, for the students had been at work since the fire alarm had been given by the whistle at the college.  They had had three streams on taking the pressure from the college water tank, but when the chief arrived were using two streams to protect the property across Hillsboro road north of the burning building.  He called back these two streams and put them against the north wall.

The engine was found not to be getting a full supply of water from the main but was racing, and so Prof. Chas B. Park cut off the water from the college tank and telephoned for direct pressure, which was put on.  The RALEIGH firemen and the students, under the direction of the chief, went into the east wing of the burning building from the south side, on scaling ladders into the third story windows and by means of an extension ladder into the second floor.

They held down the fire from this point of vantage so that it did not get into the east wing, except the slight scorching of a beam, which was due to the incomplete closing of a dire door on the third floor. Through this opening perhaps a quarter of an inch wide, a little flame passed, but no damage worth speaking of was done and this wing was preserved intact without even any wetting of the machinery in it.

Source: March 28, 1914 Raleigh Times

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