The Million Dollar Fire—Today’s Problem

Issue 11 and Volume 109.

The Million Dollar Fire&emdash;Today’s Problem Is the Fire Department Responsible for Most of These Big Ones? To What Extent and Why? ALTHOUGH MY TITLE refers to “Million Dollar Fires,” I am also talking about the half-million, the quarter-million and other big fires—those of $100,000 and over—the kind of blaze you don’t encounter every day but is always hanging over your head waiting to happen. If you will use your imagination a moment, put yourself in the city where an alarm came in—a delayed alarm. You leave the station with the engine and swing into the 5 p.m. traffic and find yourself on a one-way street blocked solid with cars behind a red traffic light. As you squirm impatiently you see the smoke and flames in the distance. Arriving at the fire scene, you wonder why the first-in engine isn’t yet in operation and then you see the operator, a *…

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