CHICAGO’S GREETING TO THE NEW CENTURY.
Chicago is nothing, if not singular. Her greeting to the new century, therefore, was of a singular character. In frozen clothing and on a glassy sheeting of ice her firemen worked almost continuously on New Year’s Day, which was a record-breaker in the way of fire alarms. Up to midnight thirty-five had rung in. On the first day of 1900 there were only twenty alarms. The average is said to be about twenty. Tn some cases a portion of a detachment at a fire would have to quit and run for another fire. Overheated stoves, the firemen said, caused many of the fires. Thawing out of gas and water pipes also contributed its share. In a majority of cases the tires were quickly extinguished,and the loss was light. Work by the firemen was done under great difficulty on account of the extreme cold. In all seven persons were rescued from being burned to death by the firemen—three at the West End hotel on West Madison street,and four at a boardinghouse on Van Buren street. The total losses of all the fires for the day amount to 1110,000. As the Windy City “loveth pre-eminence,” it is to be hoped she was content this time.