Newspaper Page Text
VOL XLIV. NO 0.NEWBERRY. S. 0. FRIDA.Y A*PRIL 12.,19070 WO EK
- INVESTIGATIN4G TH. FIr .
Board of Fire Masters Take Testi
mony and Make Recommendations. .
The J)oard of fire masters, compos
ed of Mr. H. B. Wells, chief; John
W. Ear.hardt and Johin B. Mayes, as
sistants; L. C. Pitts, president of the
Excelsior Hose Company; and John
B. Eigleberger, president of the Truck
Cmpany of colored fire departmani
of Newberry, held a meeting on Tues
da.y afternoon to inquire into the
causes and incidents connected with
the recent fire at Newberry so that
they might make report to the comp
troller geneil, as required by law,
and to the city council. The examin
ation of witnesses was coiducted by
Mr. F. H. Dominick, city attorney.
Their report will be submitted to the
city council along with the evidence
taken at the heaving.
. The Herald and News priin'ts in this
connection a stenograjphie report of
the tesptimony taken before the board
of fire masters. While the report has
not yet been written out, The Herald
aid News undersands that 'the report
will concur in the recommendation of
the chamber of commerce'as to in
creasing the area of the fire limits. It
will also recomiienii( that a building
inspector be appo.iaited and employed
by the city to inspect all buildings
tha-t may be erected hereafter and to
see that the chimneys and flues -are
properly protected so as to make
them as nearly fire proof as possible
The report will also re(iest the comi
imissiolerlS or puldiie works to re
quire the superinltenctr1t to go to the
power house ininediately upon the
alarm of fire being turned in and to
remain there .so as to see that if pos
sible the machinery is kept in good
wvorkiing order and that an employee
of the commi'sioners shall also go to
the standpipe and remain there dur
ing a fire.
As to the causes of the failure of
tle water supply during the recent
fire at the ''critical moment,' the
report reaches mo conclusion, but
simply submits the testimony. It
does the same as to the cause of the
The report also recomin;iids the
purchase of -another power pumllip to
be put in the second well, and also an
air 'compressor. It is also recom
mended tiat an aut'homatie self-regis
tering pressurae gaue be procured
for the superi'tieint's office, which
will register the pressure at all .times,
and which en he filed away so that
the pressujlre anly -iveii date in the
past may be ob-tained by reference to
this register. i is also recommended
that a piessire gauge be placed on
the side of the valve at the stand
Pipe ilext to the water main, so that
the man at the standpipe can tell if
the pressure is off from the pump.
Testimony In Detail.
Testimony taken before Board of
Fire Ma,sters on Tuesday, Apr~il 9,
190'7, a t ' p. mi.
Mr. 11. C. Williams, being duly
Q. 1)o von owll the builig, *'
WillIiamns, 'in which the firie st aited
A. Yes si.
-Q. Aboit' wvhat time of day did the
fire begin ?,
A. T do not know exactly, but I
should say about 11.:45 or 12 o'clock.
Q. Where did the fire start?
A. I was in the store, which I oc
up)ied at t.hat time, and the building
which the fire startedl.
Q. When did you first see the fire.?
A. I sawv it after the fire bell rang.
Q. In what condition was the house
A. A small flame wvas going one or
ofeet above the house.
.Ana .the flames were inear the
.Yes sir. The flames sceemed to
near .the comb of the roof, is my
ilection, but the flue was further
ni. The flue wvas nearer the eaves
the house than the comb, but I
not positive where I sipv the fir e,
her it was in Main street 0r
3d street. One of my sons came
igh the store and saidl Ithe fiire
was ringing. T was sitting at my
Some one told me that my
was on fire. Mr. Ray Watts said
)la me, but T do not iemember
vho it was, but I then went back in
,he house and started to go to my
safe, but I went up stairs to see after
ny family, and when I got up there,
[ saw the fire. The building was 2 1-2
stories, and I went into the hall of
lie upstairs to try to get some.of the
things out of the house, then went
back down stairs in the store to get
ny papers, and when I went again
ipstairs the flames were coming in
to the second story.
Q. What fire, if any, was in the
louse at the time?
A. I do not think we had had any
Ire, to my knowledge, except in the
kitchen. The kitchen waA on the
second floor upstairs at the rear.
Q. Do you use the bottom floor as
i store room?
A. Yes sir.
Q. What, in your opinioin, caused
Ihe house to catch on fire?
A. It must have caught from the
flue I suppose, I d.Inot know, but
that is my supposition. When I had
those flues built I cautioned the ma
sons, who did the work, to use all
precaution to have them sceure to
ivoid fire, and I had the bricks laid
the flat way four inches and told
hem to plaster on the outside and on
he inside, but whether they did that
n the iiside I do not know, but I
know that. they were plastered on
the outside. I do not know how it
2ould have caught except from the
flue. We were cooking with green
pine, so there was nothing to make
any special flame.
Mr. H. B. Wells: What size were
lhe flues Mr. Williams r
A. Six itnch p)ipes.
Mr. 11. 13. Wells: Tliey would have
lo be a brick and a half or two
A. I do not know. They had a piece
of tii arotund the hole, and we used
six inch pip)es.
Q. Were these flues below the ceil
A. Yes, sir-, so adjusted as to let
thelm hang below the ceiling. My wife
was upstairs at the time of the fire,
and my little daughter and the other
little child and the cook knew nothing
of the fire intil the bell rang.
Q. Was this a two and a half story
A. I suppose that is what you would
Q. What tlid you use the half story
A. The boys used it for sleeping
Q Did the flue g-o throuigh the
A. No, sir, none of the flues went
through the rooms. The flues went
between the ceiling and tie caves of
of tile roof.
Mr. F. M. Boyd's Testimony.
Mr. F. M. Boyd, being duly sworn,
Q. What offeiial position do you
occupy, Mr. Boyd?
A. Superintendent of the water
Q. In the fire that took place on the
29thI of March, Mr. Boyd, what was
lie 'oniditionl of thle wvater pressuire
at thlat time?
A. WVell, just as thle fire hlell ra.ng
1 was niol. in thle ot'110e, I was in thle
drug store, and I enn onIly state that
I always k ept the stanludipel pract i
eally full, and we hind nothing out of
Itle usual to happen just p)reviouis to
the fire to cause the st'andpipe to
give out. Our rules are nlever, under
any conditions, to let tile wvater get
lower than fifteen feet from the' top,
anld I kno1w from my personal know
icedge that nothing had hiappenled
that morning to hinder us from car
rying out thlese rules.
Q. At the time of the fire you were
in the drug storeo?
A. Yes, sir'.
Q. What time did you get to the
A. Immnedhiately after the b)ell ranlg.
Q. What was the condition (of the
pressure at that time?'
A. .Just at the maximum. Thle
p~ressiure was just as good as it was
possible~ to get from a full standpipe.
Q. How long did thlat last?
A. WVell, I was around there anld
noticedl, of course, the streams play..
ingr. I could iint. tell how many
<treams there were' onl hiand. Tile
fire beingi~ in a big wvooden store we
Slpplosed t hat they wanted all the
pressure t he.v could get, and it was
not nmore than tenl miniutes after T
got there until I saw that it was out
off, then I cut the pressure from ithe
standpipe to the n6zzles. I then phon
ed down to Mr. Eargle to force his
pump, that, I had eut the standpipe
off. 'To be certain about it, I notified
him that I was going to cut the stand
pipe off. I went to the stanldpipe my
self and shut down (lie valves, and I
know that tle pumIIIp was running
when the valve was shut dow-tn, for I
could feel the pressure of the pump.
I ran around to the standpipe hurri
edly and coming back I was not in
amy special hurry, of course I did
not take my time, but I did not
hurry particularly, and I could see
the s'reams and could see that they
were having all the plresure that they
could handle at that time.
Q. How long did that last after
you cut it off?
A. It is a hard matter to say, but
I should say that it took me possi
bly three minutes, may be four, any
way hardly five to walk from the
standpipe down to the place and I
walked jalong leisuirely, and I got
baek there ten minutes possibly be
fore there was the com'Plaint that
there was no pressure, that the pres
sure had gone down, and I happened
to be at one of the hydrants at the
time hat tle pressure went down inid
I told them to open the hydrants well,
and they said they were open. Some
of them then tnied it and I caught
hold of the handle and sure enough
the , pressure had gone down, and I,
of course, realized that something out
of the usual had happened, so went
:1-*oiund14 to plione to Mr. EmI!le and
told him that we had (lie slandpipe
ent oft'. T immediatoly ran into a
little store nlear the Mower. Company
andIi as I-eame out of file door I re
marked that tle pump had broker.
down, and two liell volunteered to go
and open the standpipe. I saw Mr.
Dunston and told him to go mith them
as he happened along just at that
time, so as they started on up to the
standpipe and I ran to the power
house and the pressure was out long
enoui-oh for a man to run from the
fire to the standpipe, don't know how
long, but possibly fifteen minutes.
Q. That was done just as soon as
you discovered that the pump was otit.
A. Yes, sir, and fortunately I found
somebody right there.
Q. After that you had ample pres
A. Yes, as much as the water in
the standpipe could possibly give.
Q. What. was the condition when
you '_rt to the power house?
A. MI'. MEargle and Mr. West were
there. I was not at the power house
when tle pump )ibroke down, but went
down there and found Earvle and
West. They were on tlie side of the
puimp and had M:otten the pump ready
to go aga-in. I -was not there more
than two minutes before tihe pump
was started again. Before the pump
was started I looked up at the guage
and 'the waler was w~ithin fif'teeid
('eel of t he too of (lie stand pipe ai
that timhe. [ am po'sitiv'e of this.
Q. WhiatI was the triouble wvit th le
A. Now it is just thle hiardlest thling~
to sav eva'tly what was the matteir
wvit.h it . There' wer noC pa(t s br'oken.
"he pump did not conme to pieces, and
as I said. T was not there when it
sto)pped1. Mr'. Eargle can tell you ex
aet:1y how the pumip acted and( I can=
not tell you w~hat made it do it, and1
afteri the pump was started up then
,ve got a good pressure' and worked it
up until the water w~as exhausted
from the r'eservoir'.
Q. What dift'erence, Mr'. Boyd, (does
it make, -if anyv, to cut the stan-dpipe
A. Yes, siir, it makes a lbig diftfe'
('n.ee. Thei pressure from thle stand
>ipe wh'len it is full just hiere at this
poiint is '70 pounds. and up there (lie
force w~ould noit he quite as much,
ad w.hen the sta ndpipe is cut off, it
is poss5ile to run (lie lines up to 125
pounds(l. It makes quite a difference.
Q. Wit (lhe standpipe on, what
pressure would you have? -
A. Tt makes a little greater pres
sure (lhan with (lie stanudpipe( of".
oi' of' courise t he meter' ' vies downa
ther'e. and it var ies wvithI thle p'ilsa
inof nt'hle piump. [t will make a
lit tle dli fferecncc a t tlie nozzles, lmut
not a great deal. It causes a back
reurei ici dwin at (lie stat ioni, bu11t not
a great deal of difference at the noz
Q. Have you in your offiec an auto
mat-ic record of where the water
stauds in tihe standpipe each day.
A. No. sir, I have not.
Q. lave you any rules for re<pliring
you to be I the poweri house duriiig
-A. Well, yes and no too. I hardly
know just how to answer that, Cap
tain. When Mr. Eargle is down there
-4he is our chief engineer and is inl
charge whien he is there-I do not
feel that it is necessary for me to be
there. I happened to be up town in
this case, but knew that, Mr. Eargle
was on d1uty, for lie comes in at 11
o'clock or a little before, and the fire
broke out about 12 o'clock. I did not
feel that it was necessary to go to
the powler house.
Q. You felt that you had compet
ent men there anld there were no rules
that required you to be at tle powelr
A. No, sir, it was not necessary for
me to be at the power houre. I would
have "one. but did not, feel that it
was necessary when Mr. Eargle was
Mr. Eargle's Testimony.
Mr. A. E. Earge, being~ duly sworn,
Q. Mr. 1-jar-e, what position do
you oceupy witli the commissioners of
A. Engineer at the city power
Q. Were you in earge of the wat
I' plant fin the day of this fire?
A. Ye-. ir.
). Wh.1t w is t eh olndition of tle
plant 11 1hat tine. standpipe, pumlip.
A. Well. 11 o'cloelk is Imv hour to
.o to wirk. and I vork tiroug10h 12
'clock on SatiurdaV night, and that
mornini I went to the Well to get a
drink Id water and saw that the res
ervoir was full. T only found five
feet mut. As a riule we hardly evei
put up five feet, but on Saturday
miorningi' we put from four to five
feet. Tn the meanitime I \vas stand
ing in the front door of the power
house and got an alarm, and the fire
man answered the phone and said it
was a fire in Mr. R. C. Williaiis'
store. and lie put his hand on the
whistle cord and T started for the
pullp ald it worked all right anIII T
knew that the staidpipe valve had
been shutt off and I ran it up to 120
pmolds pressiure and it ran a11l riht
utili all at. once it made aI lon-! stroke
I'll 4,neV Side and tle appearance of it
seem1ed that tle valve had brokenl
in two. and the bolts that hold the
screws to tle va,lves (tlie or tle other
h1ad cme out, an11d tle piessiur-e kept
droppiing: back luntil T had none and
I hail to stop my pump and I was
certain that that was the trouble. I
examined it and found nothing that
could cause it and I went to the oth
er side aind Mr. West camne and we
finished takin, it off ill a veiy shioit
time11 P an placd it bac~k andl hy t hat
Sinn Mr. lHoyd had got ten t here and
hne -aid. '"lets tiy it aigain1.' and1 we
d id, and1( myi .auge shuowed thai:t t here
Q. hIow lonig wa:s liat pumlp stop1
AI canniot tell vou, hut abou(it fit
teol Cinute1111 s I suppolise. It l oii inc
any1 short. tImue to t2ike tlle plite
ottf and examine Ithe valves. I was
onll lie Ot her side whlen Mir. rYs
Q. FTow long was2i it het wveen the
ilmne t hat the pilup stopped and1( Mur.
We-t got t.her'e?
A. Not over teini minu1tes.
Q. And duinlZ all1 that timle you
had not not ified anybVodyV up town?
A\. N,sir, F got sev'eral mIessnui.es
fom,pope up fo wn, b ut. did not
think1'; l;i;:had any t ime for' tha:t , but
tlhouTh t t he best t tin tha t I could
do was to get my pump right.
Q. What was thle mattecr with the
.\. I gave my pmp a :oodl eNaliin
af.in and tiried to find( soimethiing and
tounud one valve worn a lit tle and11
t'onnd an~otller' valv~e I ilit lil 2 ne
mmin it. A flter 1 i:i ha taken the
th a v ni tl i w oie 11 i tc e i a n d Iii fm n' ll
t hm it was sol it all 1 rouinl.
01. Tas tIlint been ri'inired. i.
Q. Did you ever have any trouble
like this before?
A. Yes, sir, some. Of course the
pum1p was certainly drawing all the
Water it could from the reservoir and
I was so anxious for it. T wanted to
give them the water after they called
for it, and I was standing by the ma
chine wVatching the iedle on the
wall when the pressure went, down.
In regard to packing the pump. I had
just taken out the packing of one of
the pistons to see what condition it
was in and the packing I used would
give good satisfact.ion for six months,
and it would run tenl months, and
on examining it I found it all right,
and I don't see why it should give
Q. What do you do to it to make it
wor'k when you take off these pieces?
A. leprime the pump.
Q. What is repi'iming it.?
A. It is refilling it. If the water
leaks out, you have some trouble in
stopping it. It was repriimed thenl and
tried anl(d iii a couple of minutes the
water began. I gave it a trial after I t
hand lost the water and gave it. suffi
cieiit time. It miight. not have rescat
ed itself as it ought to until it was
raise up several times by tlie pump.
Mr. C. M. West's Testimony.
Il r. C. Al. Wesl, being diul1Y sworn, t
Q. What is your oceupation, lr.
A. Machinist at the cotton mill.
Q. Did you go to the power house
on the day of the fire?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Why did yo go down there?
A. I her thallt the preIsue hadil
gotIiien weak. so I went down.
Q. What eonldition did youl finld:
thii.-s in whenl you got there?
A. When I went inl I asked what
lie trouble was. and whe n they said
they cl t get water, I hlped
them take the plate (,ff aiid1 examiin
eId it and I'mind nothinl." thle matter,i
so we put the plate back oin. We did
not find anything the matter with it
Q. The pump started to work afte r
you put. that plate bick on and re
primed it 7
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How was the stroke of the pump
at that time?
A. On the riiglht-hand side it. was
all right. but on thlie litier side there
was soleillin' wrow. Ir. Iloyd fin
ally came anicd adjIlsted the stream
valive and it sevilled to work all rigi
It wa. i 1 i-n1i11g nli'ely wh "Ill left.
Q. Mr. West haveln't V.I had ex
periellee witi Ilat style pIulip?
A. Ye-, sir. we have a c11111|1 (l iat
slm. at Ille Illill.
Q. Iid it ever give votl ally Irou
ble of this kind?
.A. Yes. sir, we have had sollie roku
ble with it.
Q. A ftler you ad,just it, it is all
A. Yes, sir.
lhat incip 'intlicieint to do Ihe work?
e. o sir. I do nolt.
Q,. Is -herie an cinuncip i nIc thei mar
ket with V- l c v lye-. tha c ii s onc e?cii
A. N, cir i in R). \ood piavnp no
wvihcIcc-.a beeni itiilncci sIcre 60
Q. Yo sp k ofi noicinc'. the water'i
pressiiur ine dlown, what Iilme did
youii get there?
A.A few mnc l ut es before 1 2 0o'iloek.
Q. Did t hey seem to have any pres
sure at that t icme?
A. Yes, buiit toairlyx weak.
Q. hlow long <did it take you toi get
A. Abhout five miutes.
Q. llocw longc. did it take to get the
A. Mayc le we wile woirkinc'. oii it
iabhouh Ie m'inutcaies.
(.. Who ii'Ihey -I arte d there was
not hin the.. malI e it i t~ i'~i ~i l.eept. the
st ream valve hand tic bei adiljustied?
'I.llhat is a 11 conhc l se'e, f have
niever hail anyt hing like I hat to hap
pen withI kind cif pomp. WYe have two,
one wi th a primninw valve tic guard
a1ainilst t hat.
Qi. I: t her a piiniie vilvye oin this.
ill n 1 we t he mat cier withl the
I do 1nct know. I could not een
inything wrong with it. We took the
-ide of the pump down and we could
lot find anything wrong so we put
t back and started up.
Mr. F. M. Boyd Recalled.
Mr. I'. 13. Wells: Mr. lloyd, did
"ou eVer examine the foot valve in
our suetion pipe in the pumlp7?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What style of valve is it?
A. A valve about thirty inches
(eross with four openings about eight
nches possibly. The suction pipe is
L ten or twelve inch pipe.
Q. How far is that suction from
he bottom of the cistern?
A. Twenty-four inches.
Q. You wollld have only twenty
.Ourl inches of dead water in your
A. Yes, sir. Owing to the cleaning
ip of this pump scales are sometimes
neh thick and it is very possible to
mtve washed sole of these seales into
he pump. One of tlese scales very
ikely got caught in the pump, and
he reservoir has not. been cleaned
mi since I have been here.
Q. Those scales, will not bother
'our valves in the suetion pipe?
A. No, sir.
Q. TIeyt' wold( hohlil lp y sile
ion valves ?
A. Yes, sir.
MI-. 11. it. Wells: Wiat is your
lpilionl of' the pump. Is the pmpI)I able
o do this wor1k?
A. No, and I will give my reason.
Phe part that works the stream vil
-S is operalIed by what we eall spools
ill the m inl pi61. rIods on" ( the sidles
Iext I0 theP b1161h-r. The pmn V 1t i)W01h11
W run Ialon.- mild tho hi Woubd
11(ldenly snap 41lT, and wheln they
wi.ea-k, tllere( is nothin-Xt4( todo btut hake
t out anlid fix it. and plriiularly
vhenl youl turn- thev one prIessiure in
m1 the low plrestsrt side, which re
Illilred. more il' l-ve 14 mllove this, anld it
S likelY to happen at any time. And
lie continual working o this lever,
wVery stio'k it takes it fends to break
I ill t wo, and of course every piece
f maclilnery is likely to break.
Q. Have yil a piece to replace that
is S01 as it breaks?
A. Yes. sir.
Q. How longl wotld it take?
A. Thrie or four hours.
Q. In case a br'eak like t1111 wild
h1appen d11141 we wollid depend fill the
p. w \ woil o114t )e Safe?
A. No, sir, 1Ihis Iminp is run during
ihe day rmll six lo tell times at
lmt inervals. and any siu:n of weak
nlees il the pmpI)III wo i have i tenl
dency to shiw. 1llut about these ae
eidens. Thevy will happel sonm-tiiws
Q. I)o you elep any If 1hos1 extra1
A. No, sir.
MI. h. Wilur: Mr. Bioytl, I
ander-slmud youl tn say 11ha0 yoll runil
volr piinI 11111il you exIlalistod the
walelr inl tIle cisieil. The vapavilv tof
Q. \\'hiat arm'Vi y ou.-inig ini do af
-oi n m 4''u il ep the lI t hi'.in h
Mr. A. H. Monteith Testifies.
Q. Ini re(gard'l I to it' Ii rtssiilIe, M i'.
14058 at tlhat I he.
A. Yes', I waIs at thle poiwer house
IifI'teeni or twellt y miinuites afr 1 the 11
re sIirted. I drov DriV 1. Jamtes Mc
luiiosh to t.he po)weir house5( and1t
rlounid Mr'. Boydi mal other(is t hei'e.
Q?. Th1ey' were' at4 wor'k on1 thle pumpi~i1
'(e arrivedl. W\e asked'4 whlat t'e i
>re'sent , said( to lnwi that1 they <ny V ll
own) ter was ill waiter' and14 fromii
le stanipieui gauge4 it. shiowedl hIat
I was withliin teen or fiflteen' feetL of
weing Pull. W~e Itheni drIIo Io the
itanidpipeRI. and4 Mi'. Hoy snV4 21id thie val
'(' was1 widh' open. I dlid not4 'e.t out.
.101 w( i' I,A\in1t'.hi 5 2'(Ii A ode,'
In, '.-a, low 414) yOli Peel
ini t he Ti. e w.ill prov'' the july
-olnl (I ('uuni)Inml) f'or Nh .. (i(i..