Our Daily Sykes #61 – A Professional Visit: 4-5-44

As an adjuster for a Seattle insurance firm Horace Sykes specialty was fires. He wrote about them, lectured around the state about them, and sometimes "chased" them for his profession. Sykes names these ruins the "Columbia Cold Storage Company" and he dates it "April 5, 1944." Again, he does not tell us where it is. Wherever, the effects of a structure filled with ice and still destroyed by fire are odd. The Ice Box was soon a thing of the past then. I remember the regular delivery of ice for our ice box and I also remember the delivery of our first electric refrigerator, which we continued to call the "ice box" for years after. Both deliveries were in 1944 - or near it. (Click to Enlarge)

2 thoughts on “Our Daily Sykes #61 – A Professional Visit: 4-5-44”

  1. You don’t mean to tell us that that white stuff is the ice around which a barn burned down! How could hat be? Or is this dehydrated ice just waiting for users to add water?

  2. Well Matt you have caught me once more in an unguarded speculation. Imagine this story. An insulated and very big (this point is important) ice house stuffed with ice and a few paths or freezing hallways catches fire. The cold of what is cold in this big cold house is so cold that the fire cannot melt it all – only the outside that is, of course, closest to the fire. The fireman show up in this story. They douse the fire with water, which is erosive of the ice but not nearly so as the fire. When all is done what is left is this ruined cold house with lots of ice that neither the fire nor the fireman’s hoses could get to. It was of course now just a matter of time – several weeks – before the temperature of the exposed outside would melt the rest of it, the owner thought. But then a bright young teamster suggested that perhaps there was time enough perhaps to put up some walls and save much of what was left. That last part – perhaps all of it – is a stretch certainly. Now Matt how about you reciprocating with your own imagined narrative, one that does not include styrafoam. 1944 is too early for that I think.

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