Butte Fire Department Report
Chief Peter Sanger, of Butte, Mont., in his annual report for 1911, shows that during the fiscal year the department responded to 220 alarms of fire, and the total loss, as accurately as can be obtained, outside of the Boomer-Campana fire, which occurred on April 10, were: Loss on buildings, $18,295.55; insurance on buildings, $466,031.20; valuation on buildings, $1,406,375; loss on contents, $21,536.27; insurance on contents, $567,500; valuation of contents, $780,405; amount of property involved, $2,252,470; total insurance paid, $34,836.82; total loss by fire, $10,836.82; total insurance, $1,335,431.20. Chief Sanger, says: “The apparatus of the department at the present time, is in as good condition as can be expected on account of age and being out of date. 1 would respectfully report that the physical force of our department is fully up to the standard and if the different pieces of apparatus and supplies to be recommended later on in this report, will be purchased, it will put the department more fully up to the standard. The apparatus in service consists of one chief’s buggy, three hose wagons, one Champion combination hose and chemical wagon, one Champion 86-gallon chemical engine and two hook and ladder trucks; apparatus in reserve: one hose wagon, one hose reel and one supply wagon. The reserve apparatus is stationed as follows: One hose wagon and supply wagon at headquarters, hose reel at No. 2 station. There is at present a total of 16 horses in the service of the department. There is also one horse used by the tire department owned by the chief, for which there is no charge made against the city outside of his feed bill. 1 have opened up our new lire station No. 4, on Harrison avenue and Marcia street. I have put one of our old hose wagons we had in reserve in service there. There are four men stationed at No. 4 to protect that part of the city. The Boulevard volunteer fire department, which is located on South Montana street, is also furnished with 600 feet of hose, a reel and a nozzle so they may keep in check any fires which may occur until the city department arrives, for our runs to that part of the city are very long. The department has at the present time a total of 11,850 feet of hose for use, 5,850 feet of which is first-class hose, 6,000 feet is poor second-class hose, and we have also on hand about 40 pieces of old hose that are no good for anything. There are 70 fire alarm boxes in the city, three of which are private boxes, having been installed by private parties at their several places of business and are owned by them. The fire alarm system of the city is valued at $26,295. The appropriation for the fire department for the last year was $71,500 and our expenses, including the purchase of hose, horses and small articles to install No. 4 station amounts to $70,260.
“The water company has made several improvements, increasing the efficiency of the service. The Moulton Water Company has been merged with the Butte Water Company, so that the system in Watkerville and north of Walkervillc is now part of the Butte Water Company’s plant. The reservoir capacity at the present time, which can he treated as a reserve in case of fire, is as follows: Capacity of Moulton reservoir, 7 miles north of Walkerville, 260,000,000 gallons; reservoir No. 1. Basin creek, 200,000,000 gallons: reservoir No. 2, Basin creek, 6,000,000 gallons; South Fork reservoir, near Fceley station. 13,600,000 gallons; West Side reservoir, 13,500,006 gallons; High Service reservoir, in Walkerville. 3,600,000 gallons.
“The pipe system is the same as last year, connecting all system so that the water from any system can be used in other systems. The water company has constructed a 16-inch main connecting the West Side reservoir with the center of town, thereby making two sources of supply from that reservoir to the business district. This main connects with the large laterals running east from Excelsior street and largely increases the efficiency of the fire service for the congested district. new 11-inch main has been constructed from the West Side station connecting with the High Service reservoir in Walkcrville, making two main lines to that system. At the West Side station a new electricallydriven pump, of a capacity of 1,100 gallons per minute, has been installed and is in service. One of tile triple expansion Nordberg pumping engines at the Big Hole, has been changed to electrical power, and is so arranged that it can be driven by either electricity or steam. During the past year electric power has been used exclusively at both stations. The water supply during the past year has been entirely satisfactory and there has been no trouble or loss from lack of service by the water company. As in the past, the department and the water company make frequent inspection of fire hydrants, and the water company always extends every aid possible in assisting the department in immediately remedying any defect which may become apparent.”