CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT
The first annual report of Chief Thomas O’Connor of Chicago, Ill., and the fifty-seventh of the paid fire department of the city to the Mayor and Common Council, gives the following list of heads of the department since its organization in 1837: Chief engineers of the volunteer fire department: Alex. Loyd, 1837 to 1838; A. Calhoun, 1839; L. Nicholl, 1840; A. Sherman, 1841, 2 and 3; S. F. Gale, 1844, 5 and 6; C. E. Peck, 1847 and 8; A. Gilbert, 1849; C. P. Bradley, 1830 and 51; U. P. Harris, 1852 and 53; J. M. Donnelly, 1854; S. McBride, 1855, 6 and 7, and D. J. Swenie, 1858. Fire marshals and chiefs of brigade: D. J. Swenie, 1858; U. P. Harris, 1859 to 1867; R. A. Williams, 1867 to 1873; Matt Benner, 1873 to 1879; D. J. Swenie, 1879 to 1901; Wm. H. Musham, 1901 to 1904; John Campion, 1904 to 1906; John McDonough, (Acting Fire Marshal), 1906; James Horan, 1906 to 1910; Charles E. Seyferlich, 1910 to 1914, and Thomas O’Connor, 1914. The report covers the year ending December 31, 1914, and states that during that year there were fifty-six alarm boxes placed in service, and three taken out and that at the time of the report there were 2,058 boxes in use throughout the city. The estimated value of the property in use by the department is given as follows: Buildings and real estate, $1,835,333; equipment, $1,653,016. As Fire Marshal and Chief of Brigade Chief O’Connor has six assistants. They are: First, Patrick J. Donohue, second, Edward J. Buckley; third. John C. McDonnell; fourth, Arthur R. Seyferlich; fifth, Jeremiah McAuliffe; acting sixth, Martin Lacey. The second is department inspector and the third is chief of fire prevention. There are twenty-six battalion chiefs. The number of captains was 159 and the total membership of the uniformed force was 1,903. Four volunteer companies arc furnished supplies and apparatus by the department. They are the Addison Heights Volunteer Company, the Edison Park Volunteer Company, the Ashburn Volunteer Company and the Hanson Park Volunteer Company. The report says: The installation of motor-driven apparatus continues and the department is gradually acquiring machines of the most modern type. During the year 1914, the Fire Department responded to 14,977 alarms and the number of actual fires for the same period amounted to 10,534. There were a few fires of considerable magnitude from a spectacular standpoint and where the energies of the firemen were thoroughly taxed, but the financial losses were not great comparatively, such as the U. S. Express Stables, April 17, involving a loss approximating $190,000; another, May 27, where the loss approximating was inconsiderable compared with the area burned over and number of communica tions, and the fire on Christmas Eve in the department store at Forty-seventh and Ash land avenue, which, with the smaller build ing it communicated to, approximated a loss of $225,000. In addition to the minor nec CS sarv improvements made throughout the department, such as overhauling and painting apparatus, etc., $95,000 was expended in re modeling and overhauling department build ings, which included the quarters of nine engine companies and one hook and ladder company. Repairing, painting, installing new cement walks and rrinways, areaways, skylights, stacks and caulking apparatus floors, was done in the quarters of forty-one engine companies and twelve hook and ladder companies and the Department Repair Shops; also repairs and alterations ordered by U. S. Government Steamboat Inspection Service were made on three of the fireboats. A 1,000-gallon motor pumping engine and a 700-gallon motor pumping engine were purchased and placed in service. Two 32-inch boilers were purchased. Seven Christie tractors were purchased and placed in service in Engine Companies Nos. 12, 45, 48 and Hook and Ladder Companies Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 15. One tractor was purchased and placed in service on Hook and Ladder Company No. 11. Seventeen automobiles, for the use of the Assistant Marshals and Battalion Chiefs, were purchased and placed in service. Seventy thousand feet of 254-inch double jacketed cotton rubber-lined fire hose and 5,000 feet of 1-inch rubber chemical hose was also purchased. During the year, the redistricting of the department increased the battalion districts to 26 instead of 22, an increase of four battalions since 1913. One new engine company was added to the department through the annexation of Morgan Park, Engine Company No. 120. The force of the department is up to the standard and the feeling amongst the men still continues harmonious and the discipline on the whole is gratifying. The department expenses for 1914 are given as follows: Amount expended, $3,461,584.09; population, 2,417,978; amount per capita, $1.43; number of companies, 157. During the year there were transmitted 294 over the prececding year,
The following statement shows the manner in which fires were extinguished during the year: By occupants and others before the arrival of department, 766; by department smothering, cutting out with axes, etc, 79; by department with pails of water, 19; by department with fire hydrant stream, 333; by department chemical, with chemical, fire 22; by department .-. hydrant stream with portable r-_ and pumps, 4,201; by department with portable pumps and portable chemical extinguishers, 12; by department with portable chemical extinguishers, 15; by department with one chemical engine, 247; by department with two or more chemical engines, 25; by department with one steam engine, 1,480; by department with one steam engine and one chemical engine, 150; by department with one steam engine and two or more chemical engines, 14; by department with two or more steam engines, 466; by department with two or more steam engines and chemical engines, 106; chimney fires, prairie fires, burning rubbish, etc., 2,599; total 10,534.
The following is a statement of the hose in the department: Engine No. 1: Cotton hose, 254-inch S. J., 350 feet; rubber hose, 2 1/2-inch, 650 feet; chemical hose, 1-inch, 3,650 feet. Engine No. 10: Cotton hose, 2 1/2-inch D. J., 42,950 feet; cotton hose, 3 1/2-inch, 41,000; total, 51,700. Hose in service in department: Cotton hose, 354-inch, 27,520; cotton hose, 2 1/2inch, 273,085; rubber hose, 2 1/2-inch, 1,600; chemical hose, 1-inch, 21,310; total 323,515. Total serviceable hosfe in department, 375,215 feet. Hose issued during year 1914: Cotton hose, 3 1/2-inch, 920 feet; cotton hose, 2 1/2-inch, 62,250 feet; chemical hose, 1-inch, 2,500 feet. Hose condemned during year 1914, 43,620 feet.
The apparatus of the department includes three motor pumping engines and 108 steam engines in service and 23 steam engines in reserve; four fire boats in service and two in reserve; 25 combination hose wagons (23 motor) and 29 plain hose wagons in service and two combination and two plain in reserve; sixteen hose reels in service; total ladder trucks in service, 34; in reserve, 5. There are also ten chemical engines in service and one water tower.