A JANITOR FIRE BRIGADE.
It is a somewhat comforting thought to find that the janitors of this city are at last beginning to realise that they have something else to think about besides dictating to tenants what they shall do and what they shall not do and levying tolls on their supplies as they come into the house. These lordly individuals long since formed themselves into a federation — now numbering many hundreds—to protect themselves against the “exactions” (which, being interpreted, stands for the righteous demands) of the tenants who practically pay them. Some 1,100 members of that Janitors’ society, who more or less dominate the East Side of New York city, have formed themselves into a fire brigade. They are drilling twice a week and learning how to subdue excited tenants at fires, how to get them out of burning halls, and how to revive them when overcome by smoke or gas. The janitors are placing fire-gongs in every house, which will ring the alarm when the fire starts. Such of the tenants as are on speaking terms with the janitors take part in these drills. In fact, the fire drill lias become a fad on the East Side. The society has prepared a bill to compel the licensing of every janitor in the cities of the first and second-class. The bill provides for boards of janitors and boards of examiners, and contains many rules and regulations. That, however, does not enter into the fire drill, which, whatever good may one day result from it. seems chiefly designed to encourage the janitors in their tyranny, as. of course, that autocrat will at once be acknowledged (will immediately constitute himself) chief of the brigade and enforce the most abject obedience to his behests. He is bad enough now: but he will be neither to bold nor to bind after he has passed an examination and been duly licensed by the city or State!
Belmont, Ohio, having no fire protection, was obliged to call in assistance from neighboring towns, in order to avoid a general conflagration, which broke out at midnight and destroyed the Palmer building, the B. & O. freight and passenger station, a restaurant, a drug store and a harness plant. The fire, which it is supposed was of incendiary origin, caused $50,000 loss.