CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT

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,

Chief Thomas O’Connor, Chicago.

Fire Methods.

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.

Hose.

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.

Apparatus.

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.

Chicago Fire Department.

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Chicago Fire Department.

Statistics of the Chicago fire department show that during the past year there were 10,000 fire alarms. 2,000 of which were false. The number of members in the service and salaries

they receive arc:

1 lire marshal and chief of brigade.. ..$8,000

1 first assistant fire marshal……….. 5,000

1 second assistant fire marshal…….. 4,000

1 third assistant fire marshal………..3500

1 fourth assistant fire marshal……… 3,500

1 department inspector …………… 3.250

18 chiefs of battalions………………. 2 750

151 captains ……………………… 1,815

155 lieutenants …………………… 1,529

128 engineers …………………….. 1,518

120 assistant engineers, first class………. 1,265

800 pipemen, truckmen, and drivers, first class ……………………….. 1,247

310 pipemen. truckmen and drivers, second class …………………… 1,155

80 pipemen, truckmen and drivers, third class ……………………….. 1,056

12 pilots ………………………… 1,430

17 stokers ………………………. 1,265

8 hostlers ……………………… 990

1 superintendent of machinery……….. 1,800

1 veterinary surgeon ……………… 2,500

The causes of fires for the year 1908 arc given as follows:

Ashes and hot coals………………… 108

Blown down and ignited…………….. 1

Bonfires and burning rubbish………… 604

Candles and torches, carelessness with.. .. 68

Carelessness not otherwise specified….. 13

Children playing with fire and matches… 132

Chimney tires …………………….. 478

Christmas trees ……………………. 21

Cigar stubs and tobacco pipes……….. 82

Defective flues ……………………. 57

Dryroont overheated ………………. 6

Electric wires and lights…,…………. 221

Engines and boilers, stationary……….. 22

Explosions, alcohol, benzine and naphtha. 5

Explosions, chemicals ……………… 16

Explosions, gas ……………………. 35

Explosions, gasoline and kerosene…….. 91

Explosions, lamps and lanterns……….. 77

Explosions, oil …………………….. 3

Explosions, oil and gasoline stoves……. 82

Explosions, water backs…………….. 2

Fireworks ………………………… 38

Forge, coals from………………….. 3

Friction ……………………-…….. 25

Fumigating ……………………….. 21

Furnaces, heating ………………….. 109

Furnaces, foundries, etc……………… 9

Gas jets ………………………….. 107

Gas pipes, leak in…………………… 39

Hot iron and molten metals………….. 8

Ignition, alcohol, benzine and naphtha… 10

Ignition, chemicals…………………. 13

Ignition, gas ………………………. 39

Ignition, gasoline and kerosene………. 137

Ignition, grease, oil and meats……….. 63

Ignition, paints and varnish………….. 8

Ignition, tar, rosin and wax………….. 56

Incendiarism, known ……………….. 35

Incendiarism, supposed …………….. 152

Lamps and lantern accidents…………. 62

Lightning …………………………… 45

Matches, carelessness with…………… 503

Matches, rats and mice with………….. 11

Mischievous children, etc……………. It

Oil and gasoline stove accidents………. 3

Open fireplaces and grates…………… 30

Overheated and defective kilns…………. 7

Overheated and defective ovens………. 32

Plumbers and tinners’ furnaces……….. 2

Prairies fires ……………………… 323

Rekindlings ……………. 15

Salamanders ……………………….. 3

Smokehouses overheated ……………. 18

Sparks, chimney, etc………………… 280

Sparks, locomotive …………………. 137

Sparks, river craft …………………… 3

Spontaneous combustion ……………. 140

Steam pipes ………………………. 35

Stoves and ranges …………………. 294

Stove pipes ……………………….. 43

Tailor’s goose ………………………. 1

Thawing water pipes ……………….. 49

Thawing gas pipes …………………. 8

Tramps …………………………… 4

Unknown …………………………2.287

Total ………………………..7,372

Communicated to two buildings………. 166

Communicated to three buildings……… 94

Communicated to four buildings………. 48

Communicated to five buildings……….. 36

Communicated to six buildings……….. 2n

Communicated to seven buildings……… 18

Communicated to eight buildings……… 7

Communicated to nine buildings………. 8

Communicated to ten buildings……….. 9

Communicated to sixteen buildings……. 15

Total ……………………….. 421

The “unknown cause” as usual, foots up the biggest number, 2,287, while “matches” has its usual large percentage. Altogether Chicago

had a very busy year, but conditions in its fire department have undoubtedly improved and there is no reason to doubt that under the direction of Fire Marshal Horan still further improved conditions will prevail during the current twelve months.