Additions to Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Force

Additions to Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Force

Fire Marshal Elliott of Philadelphia, Pa., has asked in his budget for 1922-23 for six additional assistant fire marshals and fifty inspectors, a stenographer, a photographer, an engineer of plants and a chemist. The assistant fire marshals are to receive $2,000 a year and the others $1,500, Transportation for the new men is also requested.

The additional assistant fire marshals are to be assigned as follows: In charge of proposed arson squad, in charge of garage and gasoline inspections, in charge of chemical and high explosive inspections, and with the present four in redistricting the city in six districts, in answering alarms of fire for the purpose of investigation.

The fifty inspectors will be used as follows: Ten for garage and gasoline inspections, five for combustibles, chemicals and high explosives, each group in charge of an assistant fire marshal and ten to constitute an arson squad, who, under the direction of two assistant fire marshals, will investigate all suspicious fires, after preliminary inspection by the assistant fire marshal has determined them to he suspicious.

In referring to the matter in a letter to Superintendent Mills, Mr. Elliott says: “Arson has grown of late years by leaps and bounds. All sorts of commodities have been sold and used in Philadelphia, and fire-escapes on all classes of buildings have gone uninspected because of a lack of proper force.

“The twenty-five fire-escape inspectors will, with the ten men now occupying that position, inspect fire-escapes, required by law to be inspected quarterly, hut in most cases not inspected annually, with the result that hundreds of fireescapes in Philadelphia are in a deplorable condition.

“It will he necessary to use one of these men as an inspector of dance halls, as the number of dance halls has grown to such an extent in recent years as to require the entire time of one man to have the proper inspection made.”

The total loss by fire during last year in Oconto, Wis., according to the annual report of the chief of the fire department submitted on November 9 to the city council, was $2,873.10. The department responded to 44 calls. 29 of which were building fires, 13 chimney fires and two false alarms. The cost of operating the department, according to the chief, was $7,050.17.

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