AUTOMOBILE CHEMICAL ENGINE AT JOPLIN.
Special correspondence of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
Joplin, Mo., has recently improved its fire department by the addition of an automobile chemical engine, built by the A. C. Webb Automobile company of that city, which used the framework of a Buick automobile, placing thereon a sixty-gallon chemical with hose reel. The apparatus is also equiped with two three-gallon chemicals, one Detroit door-opener, fire-axes, and a few other immediatetools. The tires on the apparatus are especially heavy-4-in. The machine has been specially braced in order to carry the load, and, in answering all alarms, carries, besides the operator, the chief and two firemen. It has proved itself in actual service to be a most effective piece of apparatus. It is also used by Chief J. C. Sigars in answering all alarms, thereby enabling him to be on the ground, in most cases, far ahead of the ordinary apparatus drawn by horses, and at the same time enabling him to extinguish fires in their incipiency. In a recent test at Webb City, near Joplin, a pile of boxes, straw and other inflammable material was set on fire fifteen blocks away from headquarters station, horses and stalls and automobile being dead. On receipt of alarm, the run of fifteen blocks was made by the auto from the time the alarm was given, the machine was started and the chemical was playing on the fire in one minute and a half. The run by the horses took four and a half minutes. The fire was extinguished ed before the arrival of the horse apparatus. The chemical, since being installed, has caught several fires in their incipiency, and saved a heavy property loss by its promptness in reaching the fire. The apparatus has the full recommendation of Chief J. C. Sigars, and the city is now contemplating putting in an automobile hose wagon of similar design. There is under consideration at the present time the proposition to vote $25,000 in bonds for the improvement of the fire department, it being the intention to put in a new aerial truck and extra first-size steamer and to enroll two new hose companies. The present equipment of the department consists of one automobile chemical apparatus, one two-horse hose wagon and one city-service truck at headquarters, one two-horse hose wagon at No. 2 station, and one two-horse hose wagon at No. 3 station. All the wagons carry from two to four small chemicals, besides other necessary equipments. The fire department consists of j. C. Sigars, chief; A. F. Zellers, assistant chief, and thirteen paid mea There is an ample supply of good hose in reserve and on wagons. The alarm system is Gamewell. The department was organised in 1894, with a hose company and a city-service truck. Its improvement in thirteen years has been wonderful.