On the afternoon of March 31, 1966, an intense fire heavily damaged the Nylon Net Company, a commercial fishing net manufacturer located in a five-story building at Vance Avenue. The company used large quantities of tar, naptha, and other flammable materials. Just before 2 p.m., an employee who was smoking a cigarette in a restricted area accidentally ignited some industrial materials. Over 100 employees were forced to quickly evacuate down the fire escapes. An automatic sprinkler system activated, but the main sprinkler valve bust in the basement of the building, leaving the system without water. Three alarms brought dozens of fire companies to fight the fire over the next five hours. The fire fighters attacked the blaze with aerial ladders, snorkels, the Water Tower, and heavy stream devices, while others pumped thousands of gallons of water from handlines into the building. Officials became concerned that the walls would collapse, so all men were ordered to withdraw from the building, while the fire continued to bum inside uncontrolled. Three fire fighters were injured fighting the blaze. Finally, the fire was declared under control by 7 p.m. that evening, but small fires smoldered throughout the building until midnight.

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