Issue 12 and Volume 23.

THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL OF MASSACHUSETTS. INCONFIRMED rumor has it that the office of State Fire marshal of Massachusetts is to be abolished, and though that seems hardly probable, yet the persistency with which the report crops up every now and then shows that some influence must be working in that direction. Such a step would be decidedly a step backwards, inasmuch as, since the appointment of State Fire Marshal Whitcomb—the first State officer of the kind appointed in the United States—the percentage of incendiary fires has most markedly decreased, while the number of convictions for arson has proportionately increased. Before the office was created, the percentage of known incendiary fires and of those classed as‘‘ unknown” was as large as thirty-five per cent of the total number of fires. Since State Fire Marshal Whitcomb assumed office, the average has been reduced to four or five per cent-last year it…

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