DESTRUCTIVE FIRE AT GALESBURG
Galesburg, Ill., has been visited with a destructive fire, which caused a loss of $16,000 on the Holmes 4-story building and $50,000 on its contents. The blaze kept the fire department under Chief M. J. Peterson very busy for a considerable time, and was nearly finished off with loss of life, when, just at the end of the fight, the elevator fell while one stream was being thrown on it. Eight streams in all. apparently none from an engine, were used to subdue the flames. The accompanying illustrations are of scenes taken on the spot. The first shows the start of the fire in the fourth floor, where seven men and women were at work and were safely brought down the ladders by the firemen. In the second, the fire is under control. The work of the firemen was deserving of high praise. The city itself has a population of about 20,000 more or less and a fire-area of close upon 8,000 acres, on which are mercantile buildings of brick and stone, with heights varying from two to five stories. The private buildings are generally three stories in height and constructed of brick and wood; but no wooden roofs are permitted. Three hundred and ninety hydrants (Eddy, Matthews, Crane and Bourbon) are set in the streets, the fire-pressure being 120 lb. The department consists of over a dozen full-paid men who are housed in three stations. In the central station are the headquarters, the men being under the command of Captain Dennis Madigan. The apparatus comprises the following: Double-tank chemical engine; hose wagons, 2; 65-ft. aerial truck; chief’s buggy. In firehouse No. 2, under the command of Captain Fred. B. Coakley, is a 2-horse combination chemical and hose wagon. In No. 3 house are a 2-horse combination chemical and hose wagon, a service truck and 5,000 ft. of good hose. The fire alarm is given by a whistle. M. J. Peterson is fire mashal; his assistant is John Cater. During the last year the department answered 150 alarms—five more than eer before. The buildings at risk represented an insured value of $401,900; the contents, one of $242,250. The loss on buildings was $33,320; on contents, $82,946. The loss was heavier than ever before; but then the city was never before visited with so many serious fires—six of them calling for general alarms and three (one the Holmes building illustrated as above) being especially destructive. The good work of the department saved many handsome and costly buildings. It may be added that the general construction of the buildings in the city is of such a superior type that the principal Josses were on the contents. There is not doubt, however, that the loss would have been much less if the equipment of the department were all it might be. One of the principal needs is a steam lire engine. At pres cut, except for the combination chemical and hose wagons and the chemical engine, the chief dependence of the firemen in lighting the flames is on hydrant streams. A steamer, therefore, at least should be at once provided—this all the more that so many of the calls, 90 out of 101, were to fires in frame buildings.