A YEAR OF HEAVY LOSSES.
An exchange points out that the annual fire waste in the United States is a serious problem. In spite of all precautions that are being taken in modern building construction and the wide adoption of every improvement in the way of fire prevention and firefighting, the losses from this cause arc growing steadily from year to year. In the calendar year just closed the total fire losses lor the United States and Canada, reached a larger sum than for any preceding year with the ongle exception of that of the great Chicago conflagration, 1871. The actual aggregate lire waste for the twelve months was $252,364,000. Eliminating $85,700,000 aggregate loss at Baltimore, Rochester, and Toronto, the total of the smaller and moderate fires is still found to be greatly in excess of that of any recent year, being $166,664,000, as compared with $137,365,000the average for the ten preceding years. No less than 3,100 fires occurred in 1904, each of which represents an aggregate loss of over $10,000, as against an average of about 2,400 fires of similar range in preceding years. From the fact that these losses represent to a large extent the absolute wiping out of property and wealth it will lie seen how serious a drain on the country’s resources the animal fire losses represent.
Chief Black, of Duluth, Minn., is trying to have an ordinance passed by the city council providing a penalty for turning in alarms of fire because of burning chimneys. Las’t year the department traveled 200 miles answering forty-two of such alarms, and were thereby needlessly exposed to accidents. Three years ago two men w-ere killed and three severely injured while responding to chimney fires. The council has three times refused to pass such an ordinance and appearances seem to be against its passing such now, as sever:.; of the aldermen hold that the department should answer all alarms as a precautionary measure.