Boston Fire Service

Boston Fire Service

The fire loss in Boston, Mass., last year, as presented by the annual report of former Fire Commissioner C. H. Cole, was $3,225,000, and forty-one lives. The cost of maintaining the department was $1,924,913.84, an increase of $198,797.31 over the previous year. A greater part of this advance is due to increases in pay and the pay of additional men, these two items alone accounting for $106,000. The total number of uniformed men at close of year was 988, an increase of twenty-seven, while the total number of men employed is 1,104. During the year $64,896 was expended and $41,847 contracted for the purchase of motor apparatus. Recommendations made in the report include those for new fireproof quarters for the fire alarm headquarters, for independent interchangeable underground cable system for closer co-operation between the building and fire departments and the board of health, for a special appropriation of $300,000 for motor apparatus and for new stations. 1 he report requests that the expense and labor of winding, lighting and repairing clocks of the city be transferred to some other department. It says that this not only takes firemen away from their duty, but adds to the expense of fire fighting. The statement is made that it is not any part of a fireman’s business to wind, light and repair clocks. During the year 20,780 inspections were made of schoolhouses, theatres, motion picture houses and other buildings. More than twenty-seven hundred permits for fires in the open air, blasting, short storage and transportation of dynamite, storage, sale and discharge of fireworks were issued. Five hundred inspections were made for gasoline licenses and permits to build garages.

Mayor Curley has requested Commissioner Grady to post notice where it may be available to members of the department notifying them that their taxes must he paid on or before December 1, 1914.

A newspaper story, evidently emanating from this city, relating to the improvements made and about to be made in motor fire ap7 paratus has been published recently in newspapers of other states, one paragraph of which reads as follows: “November 9, 1872, when the big Boston fire began, the Boston Fire Department consisted of a chief, seven assistant chiefs and 185 men. The equipment comprised six steam fire engines, six hose wagons and two hook and ladder trucks.” The department in 1872 had 15 assistant chiefs (then called assistant engineers), 274 men, 21 steam fire engines, seven ladder trucks, three chemical engines and eleven hose companies, in addition to 21 hose carriages with each engine. Hose wagons had not then come into existence.

Boston Fire Service

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Boston Fire Service

In view of the fact that it took about six hours one day this week to dynamite the walls of the Huntington avenue building, recently damaged by fire, the fire department has obtained the addresses of expert dynamiters who may be reached within a few minutes in cases of emergency, which will be on file at headquarters. A better system is being arranged in connection with the storage of dynamite, so that it may be more quickly available in case it may be needed to blow up buildings in case of fire. At present no dynamite is kept stored at headquarters, nor is there a first class electrical battery system available. A sappers’ and miners’ corps will probably be established in the department to operate explosives at fires or to demolish the ruins of fires.

Former District Chief J. M. Garrity, who was pensioned four years ago, died August 31 at 52 years of age.

Flames, illuminating the dark sky for miles around, brought thousands of persons to watch a five alarm fire that destroyed the five-story brick apartment house in course of construction at 501 Huntington avenue, Roxbury, early last Friday •evening.