DAYTON, Ohio, Aug. 9—At least 11 families lost their homes today as three major fires spread uncontrolled while striking Dayton firefighters watched from their picket lines.
A judge has ordered the more than 370 firemen to end their two‐day strike, but the union was delaying a response.
Meanwhile the firemen, who want higher wages and a shorter workweek, have said they will respond only in life or death situations in this city of 241,000.
No injuries have been reported from the fires.
Firemen from a nearby town chopped a hole in Bob Jackson's burning frame house, then told him to put the blaze out himself because the strikers had threatened them.
He could not and he lost his home.
An unattended fire destroyed a four apartment complex with an attached business, causing $40,000 damage. Mary Mader, 60 years old, lost her home when fire spread to it from an abandoned apartment building.
Mr. Jackson and Mrs. Mader and at least nine other persons lost their homes when they were caught by the spread of major blazes on Brown Street, in the Gettysburg Avenue area, and near Midway Street.
The 16 fire supervisors were on duty, but they could only try to coordinate with outside departments.
When they received telephone calls, they would go to the fires and make sure nobody was in danger, but would not fight them.
Timothy Harker, president of Firefighters Local 136, acknowledged receiving restraining order to end the strike, issued yesterday by Judge William H. Wolff Jr. of Common Pleas Court.
But Mr. Harker said he would not order firefighters back to work until a meeting of the full membership.
That he said, could take at least two or three days.
City Manager James Alloway directed the spread of the stubborn fire, which rekindled several times.
DAYTON, Ohio, Aug. 10—After two days of standing by while homes or apartments burned, Dayton firefighters reached an agreement with city officials on a new contract late this afternoon, ended their strike and jumped on their engines to answer another fire call.
Although the call turned out to be a false alarm, the sound of fire engines roaring through this city of 240,000 in southwestern Ohio could not have come too soon.
The fires that damaged or destroyed dozens of homes in Dayton had begun to enrage the city's residents.
They had never been confronted before by a strike by uniformed public service employees, and they were growing increasingly angry with the city and its firemen since the strike began Monday at 7 A.M.
City officials announced the agreement just before 6 P.M. the time at which Judge William it P.M., Jr. of Common Pleas Court was to start hearing arguments from the city on a motion for a contempt of court order against the 362 firefighters who failed to return to work yesterday.
The issue was moot by 6 P.M., however, for by that time the firemen were back on their jobs.