CINDERS AND SPRAY
—Fire Department officials and contractors for apparatus and supplies will find more items of interest to them in these columns than in any similar class paper published in the country. Subscription $3 per year, $1 for four months.
—The Mystic Rubber Company of Boston has assigned.
—Shenandoah, Neb., has ordered a 1000-pound fire bell,
—Westfield, Mass,, is asking for a $2500 telegraph system.
—Pittsburgh, Pa., had another fire loss of nearly $100,000 on Friday of last week.
—Holyoke, Mass., has contracted for a La France steam fire engine, to cost $4000.
—Captain J. W. T. Schott writes FIRE AND WATER that Salem, N. C., needs a better alarm system.
—Captain Cowan of the fire-boat Chicago, it is said, will receive the Tree” medal for bravery this year,
—The nomination of John Goetz, Jr. as fire commissioner of Cincinnati, O., to succeed MrDoherty, has been confirmed.
—The city council of Kansas City, Mo., has ordered all telegraph, telephone and electric light wires placed under ground.
—Richfield, Mo., has procured in Chicago what the press dispatch calls a “ complete fire protection apparatus.” Happy Richfield 1
—It is reported that the New England Insurance Exchange will raise rates at Westerly, R. I., owing to poor protection against fire.
—The city engineer of Wichita, Kan., is making maps of the city show, ing the location of fire plugs for the benefit of the hose companies.
—Owing to the frequency of fires at Port Jackson, N. Y., insurance rates have been raised twenty-five per cent, and many policies canceled.
—The Hamilton Rubber Company of Chicago reports its sales of fire hose and fire department supplies as being exceedingly large thus far this year.
—John A. Post, a young jewelry clerk, has been fined $75 and costs at St. Louis for sending in false alarms of fire. He had lots of fun for a while.
—Four women were killed and sixteen persons injured last Saturday during a panic caused by a false alarm of fire in a synagogue at Warsaw, Poland.
—The Gamewell Fire Telegraph Company of New York has put in a system of fire alarms in Frankfort, Ky., the work being completed within the last few days.
—Louisville, Ky., will have a new Ahrens crane-neck double pump steam fire engine, to replace an old engine. The cost of the new machine will be $4650.
—The Town of Lake, Ill., has awarded the contract for two new fire engines—one rotary and one piston—to the La France Fire Engine Company of Elmira, N. Y.
—The Lewis Fire Extinguisher Company of Chicago will furnish one hundred of their new automatic fire extinguishers, known as No. 3, to a Jackson, Mich., manufactory.
—The members of the fire department are not taking kindly to the Covert fire ladder, claiming that the stand-pipe is no material advantage and that the ladder is inferior to the Chicago and New York makes. There is also a criticism because only the extension is carried, no small ladders being included.—Indianapolis News.
—An incendiary recently attempted to burn the Sprague Mowing Machine building at Providence, R. I., in which there were at the time over 200 operators, mostly women.
—A fire which broke out early Wednesday morning at Salamanca, N. Y., destroyed a number of business structures and residences. The losses are put at $75,000 ; insured for only about $35,000.
—We have received from Secretary Henry A. Hills of the National Association of Fire Engineers, a copy of the proceedings of the fifteenth annual convention, held at Atlanta, Ga., in September last.
—The fouith annual ball of the Volunteer Firemen’s Associalion of New York, took place on the evening of Washington’s Birthday, at the Metropolitan Opera House. It was an exceedingly brilliant affair.
—•The fire losses in the United Stales reported last week aggregated, according to The Standard, $2 036,000, making the total since January 1, $21,285,000, at which rate the loss for the year will be $143,870,955.
—Last Saturday, in Buffalo, three men were seriously injured by an explosion of gas in the subway of the Bell Telephone Company. They had lighted a fuse in a manhole, ignorant of the accumulation of gas.
—E. A. Taft, Western agent ol the Boston Woven Hose Company at Chicago, has at his offices models of nearly all the appliances handled by that firm, and is always pleased to exhibit their workings to anyone interested.
—Mrs. Jule Belanger of Haverhill, Mass., was sentenced by the Superior Criminal Court at Salem last week to seven years in the Woman’s Reformatory for setting fire to a house in the former place in which she was a tenant.
—Major Jacob of Loulsv.lle, Ky., president of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Kentucky, was in New York recently studying the fire alarm and hose system of the metropolis, and taking notes on general fire department matters.
—Escanaba, Mich., has a new Button steam fire engine, weighing 3000 pounds and with a capacity of 400 gallons a minute. It was tested last week to the complete satisfaction of Chief Engineer McCutlogh and the municipal authorities.
—A new hose cart and hook and ladder truck was forwarded to Ft. Riley yesterday by the Kansas Manufacturing Company of this city. Ft. Riley Is now supplied will all the necessary apparatus to successfully cope with fire.—Leavenworth Times.
—The chief engineer and a member of the Toronto city council were last week authorized to go to Buffalo with the object of inspecting an aerial truck there in use ; If found satisfactory there will be a recommendation to purchase one for Toronto.
—Chief W111. W. Farrier of Jersey City, N. J., writes respecting the new Silsby heater, placed recently in No. 3 engine-house, that it works like a clrarm, keeping the water in the engine hot and heating the large house to sixty-five degrees in zero weather.
—John McLaughlin, charged with arson in setting fire to his dwelling and grocery store in Germantown, Pa., recently with intent to defraud insurance companies, pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to four years and six months in the Eastern Penitentiary.
—Tolbut Rollins, who is described by the press despatches as “ a crazy prominent citizen’’ of Perry county. Ark., wishing to shutHe off this mortal coil emptied a tlask of powder into his mouth and deliberately placed a lighted match to it. He gained his end.
—The three sixes were sounded in New York on Tuesday evening for a fire at Dutch and Fulton streets, the flames spreading with such rapidity that Chief Shay thought the precaution needful. The fire was extinguished, however, with a loss of under $20,000.
—The National Board of Fire Underwriters of New York has offered a rewatd of #500 for the arrest and conviction of the incendiary who set fire to the dry-goods store of Epstein in New Albany, Ind., on January 9. The offer of the reward remains open for one year.
—The Button Fire Engine Company delivered a fifth size engine to Gladstone, Mich.; also an extra first size to Grand Rapids, Mich., last week. The firm also shipped an engine of 5000 pounds to Key West. Fla., in the latter part of January. The engines proved highly satisfactory at the trials.
—Chief Shay of the New York Fire Department has been investigating the mixed fire signals for the recent fire at the piano factory of Kranbauer Brothers, 701, 703 and 705 First avenue. Six engines and two hook and ladder companies were sent from where they were greatly needed at the fire to the extreme western side of the city.
—The injunction obtained by the New Orleans Gas Light Company stopping the erection of the Star iron towers in that city has been removed, the writ now being refused, and work is proceeding on the towers. Colonel Flad of St. Louis claims the idea as his, however, and says that M. J. Hart is infringing his patents in carrying out the plans of the New Orleans Tower Company.
—The Singer Fire Alarm Company of Buffalo is putting up a closed circuit automatic alarm system in that city, and expects to have three circuits finished within a week or so. The company is chuckling over the action of the New York Board of Underwriters in withdrawing its approval from the open circuit systems, theirs being approved by both the New York State and city boards of underwriters.
—At Wilmington, Del., last week, bids were opened for placing a fire alarm box at Fifth and Adams streets. L. B. Jervis, for the Stevens Company, offered to put in a Stevens striker for $75, guaranteeing it to give satisfaction or taking it back. The Gamewell Company, which furnished the boxes in use here, offered to put in a box for $125 with all improvements. The bids were referred to the fire committee.
—Buffalo, N. Y., suffered from another disastrous fire early on Sunday morning. It broke out in a building on Exchange street, occupied by the manufacturing firm of James E. Curtin and Bickford & Francis, and, spreading, destroyed or damaged several other buildings, the tenants of the upper stories narrowly escaping with their lives. Some 600 persons are thrown out of employment, and the total losses are estimated at $370,000.
—William H. Bliss, executive officer of the Board of Health of Newport, R. I., died on Thursday’ in that city. He many years ago invented a hose coupling which had an extensive sale. He brought suit against the city of Brooklyn for infringements and obtained a verdict, but the case was appealed and he lost it. He lost a fortune in defending his rights. At one time he received an offer of $100,000 for his patent, but refused it. He died a poor man.
—An Austin, Tex., dispatch says: “Since the city council contracted for the use of the fire alarm system for one year from the Union Fire Alarm Company of New York, another fire alarm company has sent an agent here. Last night one of the local fire companies prepared a petition to the council requesting that the contract be investigated, and stating the adopted system is defective. As the contract has been consummated, and the Union system is on trial, it is likely to stand for the y’ear.”
—John P. Fuller, a call member of Steamer No. 8 of the Providence (R. I.) Fire Department, was arrested last Sunday morning on a charge of arson. He was seen on Saturday running from the scene of a small incendiary fire by persons who at first supposed that he was running to give the alarm, but he went to the engine-house and to bed without reporting it. Chief Steere interviewed him, but found him unable to give an intelligent account of himself and it is supposed that his mind is deranged.
—Henry Vollmer, the last of the trio of firebugs arrested last fall for setting the many fires in the lumber yard district of St. Louis, has been removed to the insane asylum, there being no doubt of his insanity. When he was arrested, together with Guy Dibb!e,and a third party who has since died, he showed unmistakable signs of a diseased intellect. About a week ago Circuit-Attorney Clover consented to his removal to the asylum, and then nolle prosequied the case as to Dibble, as the witness whom the State relied upon to convict him was dead.
—The woman’s Christian Temperance Union of Paterson, says The New York World, has many plans for usefulness, and the latest project is one for the benefit of the firemen. The organization holds that something more than preaching is necessary to inculcate total abstinence principles, and accordingly desires to supply every man with all the coffee he can drink after a hard fight at a fire. The ladies want to raise money for a cart in which the beverage is to be made and wheeled around the streets, and have advanced so far as to display a picture of the sort of vehicle on which they have set their hearts, duly’ labeled •’ W. C. T. U. Coffee Cart.”
—At a meeting of the fire and gas committee of Toronto the chief engineer reported that it was absolutely necessary he should have a supply of hose. His present stock was limited and was being damaged owing to the fact that there was not time for it to dry after use. The chairman explained that the difficulty in the matter was that a contract had been awarded, but that owing to certain troubles which had arisen between two of the parties tendering and the council, that contract had not been executed. A committee appointed to investigate the matter had not sent in their final report. It is to be trusted that the committee will see fit to make its report before Toronto has its next big fire.
—A fire broke out at one o’clock Tuesday afternoon on the top floor of the Morton House, over the Union Square Theatre on Fourteenth street. New York, and burned its way down into the theatre. The theatre was gutted and the hotel badly damaged by fire and water. The play, “ The Henrietta,” was running at the Union Square. Its costumes and scenes that were entirely destroyed were worth $7000 or $Sooo. J. M. Hill, the manager of the theatre, had expended a good deal of money fitting it up a year ago. It is probable that $50,000 is a fair estimate of the loss on the theatre property. The Star Theatre was saved. The total loss will amount to about $150,000. The guests in the hotel were promptly notified and escaped without injury, but six firemen were caught under a fal’ing gallery in the theatre and more or less severely injured.
—A fire which broke out shortly after noon on Thursday in the Pottier & Styraus building at Lexington avenue and Forty-second street. New York, destroyed that immense structure and several adjoining buildings, comprising the greater part of the block between Lexington and Third avenues and Forty-first and Forty-second streets. The “ three sixes” were sounded for the third time within a month. There were between 200 and 300 persons employed in the burned buildings, but no lives were lost. The falling walls broke down the Forty-second street branch of the elevated railroad. The fire was got under control by four o’clock, but the destruction was complete and the losses will reach nearly $600,000.
—The secretary of the National Accident is a jolly fellow, who knows how to fringe the edges of a thumper with sparkling fun. His name is Barnum—Joseph I. is the first part of it. Not that he is exactly Jacob’s Joseph, who preferred to keep his virtue and lose his coat, but he is so funny and original. One of his circulars (a “folder”) is headed by a cut of the Capitol at Washington, under which is “National Accident Society Home Office : Stewart Building, Broadway and Chamber street, New York.” Another circular of his places the cut of the Capitol between the lines “National Accident Society ” and “Stewart Building,” etc. If people who haven’t visited New York suppose that this big building with a dome on it is the “ Home Office,” that isn’t Mr. Barnum’s fault, is it? Certainly not; and, to crown the fun, Joseph I. calls his circular “ the greatest show on earth.”—The Insurance Age.
—At a recent conference between Mayor Hewitt and the beads of the different departments, the bills now before the legislature which affect the city of New Yoik were considered. Among otheis these were approved : Giving the Board of Estimate and Apportionment power to pass on the expenditures of the dock department; authorizing the fire commissioners to appoint at every place of amusement two persons, either members of the uniformed force or retired members of the force, for which the owners or lessees shall pay $2 for each person so detailed for each performance to the fire department relief fund. Not approved were the bills: Providing that the aqueduct commission may increase the salary of the president to $10,000 per annum ; repealing the act passed last year providing for a viaduct in 155th street from St. Nicholas place to Macomb’s dam bridge ; making all departments single-headed.
—Chief Engineer Steere of the Providence (R. I.) Fire Department, said recently to a reporter that he regarded the present supply of steamers as sufficient for the needs of the city, and when the new reservoir at Fruit Hall is completed the pressure of Pawtucket wa er at tide level will be increased from seventy-two pounds to the square inch to over 100 pounds to the square inch. This will be pressure enough to meet all demands. He said that he should ask the committee on fire department for two or more “Jumbo ” pipes right away, as he would rather have them for use at big fires than a water tower, such as is used in some of the larger cities of the country. The chief in speaking of the ladder service said that he wished the department was stfjrplied with three more Hayes trucks, as they are available at all fires, being supplied with various-sized ladders in addition to the extension. He was not in favor of increasing the steamers and had faith in Pawtucket water. With the ” Jumbos” and Hayes trucks properly managed, he said he had no fear of fires getting beyond the control of the department.