Acid Placed in Pumper’s Gasoline Tank
Spurred on by some motive which the investigation committee were unable to discover, members of Engine Co. 27 of Boston located in the Charlestown section, placed sulphuric acid in the gasoline tank of the pumper. Commissioner Hultman, as a result of this, has transferred the firemen of this company to stations distant from their homes as punishment. No blame could be attached to the officers so they were left at their old command.
The investigating committee believe that some members of the company were stationed as watchmen while others made the trip back and forth from the place where the acid was stored to the apparatus floor. As the container used to convey the acid held only a pint and a half, several trips were necessary to fill the gasoline tank with two gallons of the acid. It is the belief of some that an attempt was made to damage the pumper so that it would not be able to respond to a fire.
The firemen refused to divulge the names of those who were responsible for the crime, and the police who had charge of the investigation were not successful in obtaining information.
Commissioner Huffman of Boston said, “The crime is one of the most atrocious in the history of the Boston Fire Department and it was only on account of the efficiency of the officers of this company that it was discovered before the apparatus was called on to respond to a fire. In addition to the crime, the honor of the department has been publicly disgraced.
The order transferring the thirteen members of this company caused the transfer of sixty-seven men to new assignments.