A Journalistic Fire Freak.
The great fire in Bath, Me., a few days ago has alarmed the improvident towns thereabouts and caused a lively hustling for greater protection. Touching upon this subject our friend, the Phonograph, of Phillips, Me., makes these observations:
The matter of adequate fire protection in towns the size of Phillips, Strong, Rangeley and Kingfield is a perplexing one. We are all wooden and dry, and burn easily. Since the recent fire some of our more enthusiastic citizens have argued that Phillips ought to have a steam engine. That we need one is indisputable. But at present such an acquirement seems rather beyond our reach. A prominent citizen sensibly remarks: “ We don’t want to keep growling about things that are beyond our means ; what we ought to do is to enlarge our ladder and pail apparatus and keep our hand tub in the best possible working order.” This is good logic. But a plan has occurred to the Phonograph which, in the course of a few years when the towns have new industries established and the country has returned to its usual prosperity, ought to be plausible. The idea is a combination of a few towns of North Franklin for joint protection. At present it may, perhaps, be practical only between Strong and Phillips. The two towns might jointly own the present hand tub and a good steam engine. The hand tub could then be placed in Strong and the steam engine in Phillips, since railroad headquarters are here—our town of course bearing a considerably larger portion of the expense. But in reality the protection would be about equal. Generally by day and always by night—when conflagrations are most feared—a Sandy river railroad engine stands fired up in the engine house, and could convey the fire engine to that town in twelve or fifteen minutes—but little more time than would be required to get up steam. We could also go to the rescue o Kingfield or Rangeley—much more time being required,however At present our hand tub is the only fire engine of any description north of Farmington, and as a narrow guage engine is in that town only a few hours by day and never through the night, we can rely scarcely at all upon aid from that quarter.
It will be no expense to investigate the plausibility of this plan.