An explosion at the American Synthetic Color Company,  caused by acids or some other chemical occurred at 5:30 in the evening on July 31, 1917.  Firefighters from the Westside and Southend fire stations responded to the blaze at Sunnyside and Southfield Avenues.  The alarm reportedly caused more than $50,000 in damages.  Chief Harry Parker received a check of $50 from the American Synthetic Color Company in appreciation of skilled services of the SFD that they say prevented further unnecessary damage of other nearby factory buildings.


Chief H. W. Parker, of the fire department of Stamford, Conn., assisted by twenty of his men, succeeded in saving several factory buildings belonging to the American Synthetic Color Company of that city, which were threatened with destruction when one in their midst was completely destroyed by fire recently. The burned building was located on the side of a hill about 500 feet from the street in the rear of the other factory buildings, operated by the same company. The closeness of some of these buildings to the fire made their saving a difficult matter, but was finally accomplished, as the picture shows. The factories of the Synthetic Color Company are located in the southwestern part of Stamford. The site of the damaged building was approximately 150 feet by 40 feet, and fronted on a street about 30 feet wide. The building, which was 12 years old, was constructed of wood throughout. The fire started somewhere in the center of the two-story structure and when Chief Parker reached the scene the entire building was already aflame. Some delay in sending the alarm was caused by the watchman first telephoning to the owners when he discovered the fire, instead of notifying the fire department direct. In fighting the Fire Chief Parker used three American-La France motor pumping engines and one motor truck of the same make which he commends for good work. There were four 4 3/4-inch double hydrants having a water pressure of 60 pounds, placed about 500 feet apart available for use by the firemen. Three engine streams were thrown, requiring 2,150 feet of cotton rubber-lined hose, of which two lengths burst, fitted with 1 1/8-inch nozzles. Water was furnished by a gravity system through a six-inch main. The loss was estimated at $55,000. The Synthetic Color Company are engaged in the manufacture of a non-inflammable coloring material.

— Fire & Water Engineering Magazine, August 15, 1917



The Original Fire & Water Engineering Article