BAY CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT.
For a city of 35,000 Inhabitants, Bay City, Mich., has as well-organized and thoroughly equipped a fire department, as many places of much higher pretensions to importance and of much larger population;and,as will be seen from the accompanying illustrations,both men and apparatus are housed in a manner that does the greatest credit to the municipality. The fire area of the city is seven square miles, the space included in which abounds in fine mercantile and other buildings of brick and stone.and varying in height from two to six stories. Within the same area are also included many handsome private residences, chiefly of frame. These arc all brought within easy reach of the fire department, by means of the Gamewell fire alarm system, with its eighty fire boxes, all in good shape and under careful, skilled supervision. The alarm system needs only the storage battery to be complete. The personnel of the force, under Chief Thomas K. Harding, has more than a local reputation for its good work and expert handling of fires, of which there were 141 last year—less than in any year since 1891. The fire loss was $76,410—not by any means a large figure, considering the number of the fires, and the threatening nature of some. The twenty-three men composing the force of fire fighters are divided into nine companies,for whose accommodation and that of the apparatus are provided six stations. The firemen have as their equipment two steam fire engines, six hose carriages, one chemical engine,two hook and ladder trucks, one aerial truck, 10,000 feet of good hose, and twenty-two horses. To maintain this department took last year, $22,803.65 —a less sura than in any other year since 1890. Among his recommendations, Chief Harding suggests that the present gravity fire alarm system be exchanged for the storage battery system.
The illustrations accompanying this article represent the six fire stations, and show also the portraits of the city’s board of fire commissioners and Chief’Harding.
A twenty-inch water pipe burst on Friday night week at Eighth avenue and Thirty-eighth street, in the borough of Manhattan, N. V’. At that point a new twelve-inch main crorses the bigger pipe, and a connection has been made between the two. Through the removal of the earth from the twenty inch main the lead dropped from one of the joints and a column of water burst out, rising to a height of three stories. All the buildings in the neighborhood were flooded, and the shopkeepers hurriedly closed their doors. There was forced through the crack in the main a three-foot eel, as thick as a man’s wrist. The miniature geyser lasted nearly an hour. In closing the water gate in Thirty -eighth street the workmen screwed the brass fixtures so tightly that they were unable to open them the next day, and the residents of the neighborhood were without water for nearly forty-eight hours.