Chief Garverich Replies to Attack.
The Journal of Commerce, of New York, having recently criticised the fire department of Harrisburg, Pa., under the caption of “Queer Doings at Harrisburg,” Chief C. A. Garverich replies that Inspector Brockett’s criticism is “Unjust and uncalled for. In the first place, he charges two companies with a controversy about making connections at a hydrant. The city fire hydrants arc all 3-way connections, not 2-way, as stated by Inspector Brockett. A hose wagon stopped at a hydrant to make connections with the hose line and turned on the water at the time an engine came up to connect to the hydrant, and, therefore, had to cut off water to connect engine. This caused some delay and might have caused some words. In the second place, he charges hosemen with throwing water on one another. This did not occur, but was accidental, not as charged by the inspector. This incident I saw myself and changed the lines. In the third place, he states that each engine company has to have a supply wagon to get its own coal, and that one company will not supply the other; therefore, the engine that is short of coal must shut down This charge is not correct. The fire department has a regular supply wagon, which furnishes fuel for the engines when needed. The fire which Mr. Brockett criticises the department about occurred in October, 1908. The building was a 4-story brick used and occupied as a rag warehouse. It was stocked with bales of rags from top floor to lower floor. The fire started on the top floor; flames spread very rapidly. The eight hose lines pouring water on top floor checked the fire; but the water soaked floors became overloaded and gave way, causing the building to collapse. This caused the building to be a total loss. I am sure Mr. Brockett did not know the amount of storage this building contained; therefore, he would not have jumped at conclusions. This is the first time the fire department was criticised for not doing its duty, and is not justifiable.”