CHANGE IN BUREAU OF COMBUSTIBLES.
Last week Fire Commissioner O’Brien, of New York city, deposed George T. Murray as chief of the bureau of combustibles, who, also, though requested to send in his resignation, had refused to do so. The late head of the bureau had not given satisfaction for some time, and the last complaint, which lead to an investigation by the commissioner, was one from the city betterment committee of the Citizens’ Union, relative to the numerous explosions at blasting operations throughout the city. It was declared that the laws relative to the care and use of explosives were not being enforced. In his official statement on the subject Fire Commissioner O’Brien said as follows: “When I took office as fire commissioner many candidates for Inspector Murray’s place appeared. To the best of my recollection not one person in New York asked for his retention; but, as I believed him to be honest and competent, T kept him at the head of the bureau and placed absolute dependence upon him. Tf I have been slow in making a change, it is because T preferred to take upon myself any criticism T might deserve rather than deal unjustly with Mr. Murray.” Most of the charges against the inspector were gathered by the Citizens’ Union. Dr. Bruere reported to the committee that the bureau was lax, and, according to Commissioner O’Brien, “the head of it obviously incompetent.” An officer of the department, appointed by the commissioner, aided Dr. Bruere. Mr. Murray was appointed chief of the bureau of combustibles on May 1, 1895, by Fire Commissioners Sheffield, La Grange and Ford, and had served continuously ever since. Only within a few months had there been complaints against him. These, in some cases, were shown to ho more or less unfounded. Until the Citizens’ Union was asked by Commissioner O’Brien to investigate his own department, there was not a serious complaint against the chief.