Davenport, Ia., Fire Department Report
Davenport, Ia., has a fire department of which it may well be proud. It ranks with the best in the state, and the fire loss during the past year speaks eloquently for the efficiency of the department. In the annual reports of the cities of the state for the past year, it is shown that Davenport has the smallest fire loss according to valuation of any city in the state. This is the direct result of the efficiency of the local department, and with the radical improvements which are now being made in the fire-fighting equipment of the department, the public safety will be more guarded than ever before. Property which is owned by the fire department of the city is conservatively valued at $100,000, apparatus and equipment at $43,000, fire alarm telegraph $22,000, horses $3,850, furniture and supplies $2,500. During the present year the city council voted to purchase three new fire auto trucks for the department. These cost in the neighborhood of $17,000, and add materially to the fire-fighting capacities of the department. One of the new trucks will be installed at hose company No. 4, another at hose company No 3, and the tractor for the hook and ladder truck will be placed at the Central fire station. According to the annual report of the department the affairs and conditions are the best in the history of the department. During the year one Buick automobile and three auto trucks were purchased. The same are equipped with four 6gallon Babcocks, two axes, one peerless hose clamp, wire cutter, several lanterns, etc. Hose wagons Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and hook and ladder company No. 2, were equipped with hub brakes. A number of new ladders were also added to the equipment of hook and ladder company No. 2 and hose company No, .5, The apparatus of the department is in good condition. There are at present 22 horses in the department. During the year two horses were purchased to replace a like number that were no longer fit for service. Several of the old horses were sold during the year, the proceeds being turned over to the city treasurer. The various stations of the department are in fair condition, with the exception of the roofs on several of the buildings, which will need to be repaired. There was purchased during the year 1,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch rubber lined hose. The same is guaranteed for four years, and to stand a pressure of 4,000 pounds to the square inch. There are at present 13,000 feel of hose in the department. The Davenport Water Company has added to its system 1.5 miles of mains and 21 hydrants, making a total of 80 miles of mains and 748 hydrants. The company has rendered excellent service at all times. The sum of $625.81 was expended for the alarm system during the year. The alarm system has worked satisfactorily at all times, and is in good condition. The department responded to 318 alarms, of which 10 were false, caused either by malicious persons or steam or smoke escaping from buildings being mistaken for fire. The alarms are classified as follows: Telephone, 267; box alarm, 37; still. 10; A. D. T., 4. There were 308 fires attributed ot the following causes: Sparks from chimney, 32; defective chimneys, 29; chimneys burning out, 32; rubbish or grass fires, 32; gasoline stove explosion, 6; spontaneous combustion, 14; hot ashes. 4; overheated stove or furnace, 6; thawing out pipe. 2; electric wires, 9; cigar stumps, 2; unknown. 140. The total fire loss for the year was $26,672.94, on which there was insurance carried to the amount of $448,697. This is the smallest fire loss the city has had since 1899.
There were 156 fire, escapes erected during the past year, and about 80 more to be erected during the coming year. There were more than 200 buildings inspected during the year. The expense of the department during the year amounted to $55,166.74, of which sum $42,915 went for salaries.