CITY AND VICINITY

CITY AND VICINITY

MAGNESO-CALCITE FOR SAFE LININGS.

An exhibition of the fire-resisting qualities of magneso-calcite, a new lining for safes, bank vaults and warehouse shutters, was given recently at Elm Park, Ninth avenue and Ninety-second street, under the direction of Mr. Hoey, of Adams Express Company. A large iron chest of the kind commonly used by Adams Express Company for transporting money and valuables, having a two-inch lining of the new material, and which contained $200 in $2 notes, a box of cigars and a number of books, was placed in the midst of a burning mass of hard wood. After a test of more than three hours, during which the chest was subjected to an intense heat, it was withdrawn and a hose played upon it to cool it. T he chest was then opened and the contents found not only unharmed but hardly warm. Smaller tin and iron bond and note cases, having a lining of only one inch of the patented material, were subjected to the fire for more than an hour. When these were withdrawn and opened their contents were found to be without the least injury. The tests were witnessed by a number of safe-makers, builders, insurance officers, officers of the Magneso-Calcite Fire-Proof Company, of Boston, and by Charles O. Shea, Assistant Chief of the Fire Department, all of whom seemed to be perfectly satisfied with the success of the tests. The lining itself is composed of layers of material resembling straw board and asbestos pressed and hardened.

THE PARK THEATRE BURNED.

On Monday evening Abbey’s Park Theatre, at the southeast corner of Broadway and Twenty-second street, was within the space of an hour reduced to a mass of smoking ruins. The renowned actress, Mrs. Langtry, was to have made her first appearance there before an American audience on that night, in the comedy, ” The Unequal-Match.” The scene was set for the first act, when at 4 30 o’clock fire was discovered near a proscenium box. The employees tried to put the fire out themselves, but their fruitless efforts were another demonstration of the little value to be placed on private fire extinguishing facilities, within the burning building. The statement is made that the fire extinguishers were tried, but long disuse had rendered them unworkable. An attempt was made to get at the stage hose, but the flames had gained great headway, and this could not be done. It was then, and not till then, that an effort was made to press the fire alarm knob which gave communication with the headquarters of the Fire Department. Though the breaking of the glass-casing about this instrument was all that was necessary in order to press the knob, this could not be done effectually under the excitement of the moment, and the building had to be abandoned before the Firemen arrived. The first alarm was sent from Box No. 379, in front of the Fifth avenue hotel, by Christopher Ktick, Engineer of No. 19 Engine Company, at 4.40 P. M. He saw that there had been a fatal delay, and sent out, at 4.43 p. M., a second and third alarm. This made the force of the Fire Department at the fire, Engine Companies Nos. 14, 1, 16, 19, 26, 5, 18, 3, 33, 37 and 21, and Hook and Ladder Companies Nos. 7, 12, 3 and 5. At that time the flames had not made much progress toward the Broadway side, but were raging fiercely on the Twenty-second street side. At 5*20 the Firemen had tillflames under control, but Abbey’s Park Theatre was then no more. Surrounding buildings were damaged to some extent. The old site will not be used for a new theatre. Two theatre employees met their death in the fire and one was badly injured.

Fire Marshal Sheldon on Wednesday began his investigation into the cause of the fire. Hamilton Weaver, the machinist of the theatre, said: “I was on the stage at the time. The stage was all clear, and we were getting ready to set the scene. I first saw the fire in the partition between the front of the house and the stage, and on the right-hand side of the stage facing the auditoriunt, about sixteen feet above the stage, apparently alongside the second proscenium box. This partition was of matched boards on the stage side. They had shrunken apart some, and I discovered the fire through the cracks. I stretched the hose, gave the pipe to some one, and ran to start the pump. Others tried to fight the fire with extinguishers. When I returned the flies were all ablaze. This occupied two minutes altogether. I have no idea what could start a fire in that partition. I think it must have come from the box. I saw upholsterers at work in the box that morning.” Annie Roworth, the janitress, said : “At the time the fire was discovered, 1 was in the box over Mr. Abbey’s. Mrs. McDonald was with me. I heard a noise like water dripping and immediately saw smoke coming into the box from the cracks in the partition between the box and the stage. There was a gas light in the box. It was lighted at the time. The upholsterer at work in Mr. Abbey’s box left about half an hour before the fire. There were other strange men at work about the place all day.” George E. Henry, the property maker, added nothing of importance to the story.

NOTES OF MEN AND THINGS.

Fireman James McManus, of Hook and Ladder Company No. 19, of New York, has been transferred to Engine Company No. 47, and Engineer Ezra N. Lefterts, of Engine Company No. 20, to Engine Company No. 24.

The Board of Fire Commissioners on Thursday fined Engineer Robert Pallette, of Engine Company No. 7, and Private William P. Neary, of the same Company, two days’ pay for absence. In the case of Private Donohue, of Engine Company No. 13, the Board dismissed the complaint.

The pedestrian Fitzgerald, who won the late six days’ race at Madison Square Garden, lives in Ravenswood, Long Island City. On Monday evening the Fire Companies in the lower wards of the city gave a torch-light parade in honor of the distinguished Fitzgerald. Blazing bonfires illuminated the city and in passing through the upper wards, embracjjig the villages ol Astoria and Steinway, the parading Firemen received a warm salutation from their brethren in that section of the city.

The Fire Commissioners asked for an appropriation for the support of the Fire Department during 1883 to the amount of $1,671,905. The appropriation last year was $1,464,850. The Department has been allowed $1,585,745 by the Board of Apportionment. By this increase in the appropriation the New York Department is to be rendered more efficient by the addition of several engines and hook and ladder trucks. This new apparatus is intended to be utilized in the most dangerous part of the city as supplementary to that already in use, so that these districts shall never ibe without apparatus when the regular Companies are in attendance at fires. Another Assistant Chief of Department, at a salary of $3500 per annum, is also authorized. There has always been apprehension that two or three fires in different parts of the city might occur simultaneously, and, while the apparatus was employed at one, the second might imperil the safety of the city. A recent experience of this nature satisfied the Commissioners that the danger from this source was too imminent to be ignored, and hence their desire to duplieate engines in present districts. The provision is a wise one. It is to be only regretted that the Board of Apportionment did not accept the full estimates of the Fire Commissioners.

The death of two Firemen during the present week was recorded. First was that of Engineer Johnson, of Engine Company No 24, who died of fever last week, and was buried on Tuesday of this week. The second was that of Fireman Michael Connor, of Engine Company No. 14, who died on Tuesday from the effects of an accident received October 2 in a very singular manner. Ho was exercising on a horizontal bar in the gymnasium of the engine-house, when an alarm was sounded upon the gong. With the true instincts of a Fireman, he sprang to respond to the call, but in swinging himself from the bar to the floor he slipped and fell, injuring his spine in such a manner that he had to be conveyed to the hospital. Here he lingered for twenty-nine days, when death put an end to his sufferings. The funerals of both these members of the Department were attended by many of their comrades and friends.

CITY AND VICINITY.

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CITY AND VICINITY.

Nh IV YORK DEPARTMENT,

NOTES OF MEN AND THINGS.

The palatial dwelling of William H. Vanderbilt has been insured for half a million dollars. Owing to good construction, the rate charged is very moderate.

Fireman James Kenny, of Engine Company No. 21, while answering a false alarm of fire, fell from the engine and was run over by the tender. His right leg was crushed, and it is thought will have to be amputated.

The former members of Amcricus Engine Company No. 6 have formed an association, and will indulge in their first annual banquet on Monday evening, June 12. Tweed was at one time Foreman of the Company, and while in that position took all the members on an excursion to Washington, where they were received by the President.

The regular weekly meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners was made interesting by the trials of several alleged offenders. Fireman Patrick J. Fecny, of Kngine Company No. 49, was charged with being absent without leave, and was fined three days’ pay; Fireman Robert K. Grace, of Hook and Ladder Company No. 9, was charged with striking Fireman John J. Sec, of the same Company, in the face. He was fined five days’pay. Grace preferred a similar charge against See, who was also fined.

The following transfers have been made; Fireman John S. E. Eagan, of Engine Company No. 21, to Engine No. 7; Thomas Conlin, of Hook and Ladder No. 7, to Engine No. 21; Michael Eagan, of Engine|No. 21, to Hook and Ladder No. 2; Assistant Foreman Robert Olmstead, of Engine No. 21, to Engine No. 6; Augustus II. Wright, of Engine No. 6, to Engine No. 39; Henry W. McAdams, of IlfKik and 1 .adder No. 2, to Engine No. 21 ; (‘has. D. Purroy, of Engine No. 48, to Hook and Ladder No. 2; William Kemeghan, of Knging No. 32, to Engine No. 31; Assistant Engineers Joseph O’Grady, of Kngine No. 31. to Engine No. 33; Michael Hart, of Engine No. 31, to Engine No. 48.

A citizen pnssingby the big factory of the New York Consolidated Card Company, at aa8 and 230 West Fourteenth street, at 11 o’clock at night, saw w’hat appeared to be a fierce fire going on on the second floor, and gave an alarm. While attempting to force an entrance into the building, the Firemen were confronted by Watchman McCassen, who was within. They shouted to him to open the door, but he refused, ami threatened to shoot if they burst it open. They broke through the windows and dashed up stairs. On the second floor they found a barrel filled with paper and rags, soaked in varnish and ablaze. It was the work of a moment to extinguish the flames, which had already spread to the flooring. McCassen was put muter arrest. The prisoner stunned dazed when arrested, and kept repeating, “I know who’s done that.” He seemed to have been drinking heavily.

THE PRUNTY NOZZl.F..

Wc recently announced that one of the new style of Prunty nozzles had been placed in this Department for trial. It was given to Engine Company No. 4, Captain Crum, and he has used it with great successn several occasions. This nozzle is the invention of J. E. Prunty, of Baltimore, and full illustrations of it have been given in THE JOURNAL. It throws a solid stream, and by turning down an outer shell, a lateral jet is thrown. This lateral stream is for the protection of the Pipeman, and also enables the nozzle to be used as a roof or cellar distributor. Last Saturday evening Captain Crum gave an exhibition of this nozzle which was witnessed by many persons. A tripod was erected upon which the nozzle was placed about twelve feet above the ground. The engine being set at work, the nozzle discharged from the lateral openings a sheet of water covering an area eighty feet in diameter, at the same time that an effective i^-inch stream was thrown. By means of the adjustable shell, the lateral flow can be regulated to almost any angle. One of these nozzles let down through a roof would speedily extinguish a fire in the upper story, the water being thrown to all points within a radius of eighty feet. Captain Crum is enthusiastic in praise of the nozzle, and says it “lays way over anything of the kind he ever saw.” He carries it permanently on his engine, with two or three caps for changing the size of the direct” stream. Besides the advantages of the lateral discharge, it is a splendid service nozzle for a single stream.

A TEST OF STEAM FIRE ENGINES.

On Thursday of last w eek a trial was made of a new large size Clapp & Jones engine, one f tour recently ordered for this Department. Advantage was taken of this opportunity to test the capacity of the Amoskeag and Clapp & Jones pumps. The following is the official report of the test:

FIRE DEPARTMENT CITY OK NEW YORK, }

OFFICE OK REPAIR SHOPS, NOS. tap and 132 West Third street,

NEW YORK, June x. 1882. )

To ike Honor Able Board of Fire Commissioners,

GENTLEMEN—In compliance with instructions received from your honorable body, I respectfully report that a competitive test was held this day at the foot of Seventeenth street, East River, between the first-class Amoskeag Engine No. 20, the first-class Amoskeag selffropdler engine formerly in use by Engine Company No. 20, and the new first-class Clapp Jones Engine No. 14, for the purpose of ascertaining which of the engines was provided with the most powerful and durable pumps for fire service. The following are the results attained : *

The engines w’ere started at 10.09 o’clock A. M., with one (1) gauge of water in the boiler, and drawing water from the river with a lift of nine feet. The time consumed in raising steam from the time of lighting fire was not taken, for the reason that each of the three engines were furnished with a boiler of the same description, being M. R. Clapp’s patent tubular. Water was started at eighty pounds pressure:

♦At xo.50 o’clock A. M. the self-propeller engine was withdrawn from the test, in consequence of a link-block breaking and the loss ofa nut from one of the eccentric straps.

† At 11 o’clock A. M. Engine No. 20 was temporarily withdrawn from the test for the purpose of having the variable exhaust examined, as it did not appear to work properly.

‡ At 11.20 o’clock A. M. Engine No. 20 was again placed in the test, it having been ascertained, upon examination, that no trouble existed in the variable exhaust.

§ Self-propeller.

The engines were shut down at two o’clock P. M., making duration of trial three hours and fifty-one minutes. Very respectfully,

. JOHN MCCABE,

Chief of Battalion in Charge of Repair Shops.

A stroke of lightning struck the main water pipe of Passaic, shattering it in two places. The city will be without water until the damage can be repaired.