Comply With Fire Escape Ordinance

   Posted by: admin   in Business, City Council

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 10, 1903

Comply With Fire Escape Ordinance

Nearly Every Building in the City is Now Protected Against Fire.

Four Buildings Without Them

Owners of Two Buildings are Fined for not Obeying the Law.

Inhabitants of Fort Dodge “sky scrapers,” need no longer have any fear of waking up in the middle of the night disturbed by the alarm of fire and finding that there is no other means of escape besides the burning stairway, or windows high above the street.

The city fire escape ordinance passed last April in accordance with the state law is now practically enforced in Fort Dodge. There are only four buildings in the city, which on account of their size come under the law, unprovided with fire escapes of sufficient size and number to allow the inmates in event of a fire a mode of escape.

Two of the delinquents, the Great Western Cereal Company and the Green-Wheeler Shoe company have been fined the amount provided by law, $1 and costs, $10 per week afterward until fire escapes are put up. The other delinqent (sic), the Midland life Insurance Co., which has been ordered to appear on charge of disobeying the law and the fourth owner, Harry Sanderson, who is prevented from putting  up the escape on his building until the permission of the government is secured, the escapes being placed on the west side of the Sanderson black which borders on the postoffice grounds. It is necessary to secure the consent of the government before the work can be done.

All of the Central avenue business blocks of three or more stories, with the exception of the above named, have complied with the ordinance and the contracts for the escapes on the shoe factory have been let and work will commence as soon as the material arrives. The Great Western Cereal Company had provided the mill with one fire escape but this has been considered insufficient, so that more will have to be put in. The work of doing this will begin Thursday.  The Midland Insurance company has ordered the material and will have the apparatus u p within a few weeks. As soon as government permission is secured the fire escapes will be placed on the Sanderson block.

The most expensive escapes not put in are those on the court house. These are of the nature of a steel stairway and cost $450. One escape is placed on the east and one on the soth (sic) side of the building.

The Des Moines Bridge and Iron Works has held contracts for the majority of the work. The contracts signed by this company here would run into the thousands. the cost of the fire escapes for a building varies from $80 to $500 depending on the number and kind used and whether or not a stand pipe is put in.

The ordinance was passed by the council in the early spring. Notices were served on property owners on April first that the escapes must be in by June 1, but delay in the carrying out of the contracts by the construction companies has caused a postponement in the enforcement of the ordinance.


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