CHIEF McAFEE ON HOW TO ESCAPE AT FIRES.
Chief Wm. C. McAfee, of the Baltimore fire department, was recently honored by the presentation of a set of engrossed resolutions from the North Baltimore Business Men’s Association. The resolutions were passed by the association to at. test their appreciation of Chief McAfee’s bravery at the Armiger fire, on North Charles street. The resolutions are signed by the president and secretary of the association, and are neatly framed.
Mr. James K. Hooper, president of the association, made the presentation speech, in which he spoke highly of the chief’? efficiency and courage.
In his usual modest manner. Chief McAfee said that what he did he considered “only the strict performance of duty.”
Mayor Hooper, who is a member of the association, was called upon to add his tribute of praise for the chief.
Of Chief McAfee the mayor said: “ The fire commissioners are honored to have such a subordinate. We found when we looked over the department that here was a young man of reremarkable self-possession, but in no sense forward. By conversation with him and by looking over his record we found a man who took all occasions when not on actual duty to keep himself posted as to fire department affairs. We elected him because of real merit, and we appreciate the fact that the citi. zens of this association have indorsed the young man upon whom we have placed the highest honors the department can place on any man.”
Fire Commissioners Gilbert and McFaul also added their tribute to the garland of praise which was given to the chief. Commissioner McF’aul pledged himself to vote for meritorious men only in making promotions in the department.
Chief McAfee said in answer to a question as to the best means of escaping at fires by one of the members: “The department does not delay, but very often there is a serious delay in sending in an alarm. At the Armiger fire, for instance, a gentleman in the neighborhood saw the evidences of the fire twenty-one minutes earlier than the alarm reached our engine house.
“People get excited in sending in an alarm from the fireboxes In every box, be it a keyed or a keyless one, there is a small hook which must be pulled down in order to send in an alarm. Merely opening the door of the keyless boxes does not sound an alarm, although it does sound a warning gong in order to prevent false alarms being sent. F.Veil in the dark the necessary hook can be felt, as it is the only thing on the inside of the box that is within sight or feeling.
“Sometimes when a fire is small and the evidences are slight, the person sending the alarm leaves the box and the firemen are at a loss to know where to find the fire if it happens to be three or four squares away. Stay at the box until the apparatus arrives and tell the firemen where to go. This co-operatiom between citizens and the department may be of great value.
“ If you are in a burning dwelling and cannot get down stairs, stay in your room with the door closed as long as possible. Opening the doors and windows gives the fire draught and increases your danger.”
Chief McAfee advised against establishing ladder stations in various parts of the city, arguing that a ladder long enough to reach the second or third-story window of a dwelling and strong enough to hold one or two persons would require three or four persons to raise it to the window. Unless experienced in such work, he said, few men can get up such a ladder to be of any service.