Seagrave Midmount Tower Ladder

A five alarm fire tore through a row of stores in Upper Manhattan on December 13, destroying five businesses, but causing no injuries and leaving none homeless.

At about 7:48 PM, Manhattan transmitted box 1626 at 212 W. 145th St. for a report of a fire in a salon. First due units arrived minutes later to find heavy fire in a hairdresser in a 100 X 100 taxpayer. “All Hands” with an additional 1 & 1 was requested on arrival. Flames quickly spread into the cockloft and a second alarm was transmitted in less than five minutes. By 8:15, conditions deteriorated and all firefighters were pulled out and a roll call performed.

Two handlines and two tower ladders were put into operation, but the fire continued to spread. Soon fire was in all five of the businesses in the taxpayer. At 9:00 a third alarm was called for, a third tower was put into service, and additional handlines were set up to cover the exposures—a six story OMD on the B side, a row of attached five story OMDs on the C side separated by a alley, and a two story attached taxpayer on the D side.

Eventually five alarms were transmitted (the fifth for relief) before the fire could be placed “Probably will hold” at the six-hour five-minute mark. Companies remained at the scene hitting hot spots which lingered for hours under the collapsed roof. The cause is under investigation.

Photo by Bill Tompkins,



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