DETROIT FIRE LOSS INCREASED OVER THAT OF LAST YEAR
Annual Report of Fire Marshal Attributes This to Increased Building in City— Splendid New Headquarters Opened
THE city of Detroit, Mich., sustained a fire loss of $4,154,775 during the year 1929, according to a report by Fire Marshal G. S. Goldwater, with the Board of Fire Commissioners. This is an increase of $431,131 over the year 1928 and is attributed to the fact that during the year 1929 26,554 permits for new buildings or alterations to existing structures were issued. The valuation of these new and renovated premises is given as $100,542,497. Moreover there has been an increase of 100,000 in the population of the motor city and its consequent additional responsibility.
After devoting much space to the cause of prevention, cleanliness and good order in house keeping, Marshal Goldwater in his report states that institutional inspection has been diligently carried on and further that more than a majority of the recommendations made by the Fire Marshal’s office have been carried out.
During the year a total of 68,000 inspections were made and 46,519 hazardous conditions were remedied. Licenses and permits were obtained to the amount of 779 and 212 plans were examined and approved for the installation of standpipes, while 110 standpipe installations were completed.
Detroit had a total of 13,711 alarms during the year of which 11,104 were actual fires, 1,120 were alarms without fires, 1,472 were maliciously false and 15 were outside the boundaries of the city. Last March was the heaviest month with 1,537 calls.
Only fifteen fires extended beyond $30,000 damage each, the heaviest loss of $184,000 being on Michigan Avenue last January in the Premises of Summer & Hecht, et al. The value of the property afire amounted to $237,974,102, the loss $4,154,775 and the insurance $212,892,527.
Thirty-eight fires required additional alarms of which number 24 were second alarms, 12 were 3rds; one was a 4th and one a 5th. The classification of fires runs about the same as the average cosmopolitan city. The Fire Marshal investigated 1,410 fires of which 1,333 were accidental, 77 were incendiary, 23 arrests were made, 8 convictions obtained, 5 were acquitted, one not prosecuted, 6 warrants were refused and 3 were for other cities.
Twenty-six fires to defraud the insurer involved a loss of $105,791; 32 were set for revenge, involving a loss of $66,400; six were made to conceal other crimes and entailed a loss of $27,183 and 13 were set by pyromaniacs with a loss of $9,906.
The Fire Department ambulance record for the year 1929 shows an increase in activity with 139 calls which is 29 more than the year 1928, a total of 1912 miles were traveled, an increase of 495; the bus was on duty 270 hours, an increase of 116 hours.
Perhaps the outstanding achievement of any activity in the history of the Detroit Fire Department for the past fifty years occurred last year when the Department opened a new headquarters building at Wayne and Larned. It is wdthout doubt the finest, most modern and best equipped Fire Headquarters building in existence to-day in any cosmopolitan city of this country.