Detroit Purchases New Type Pumper
The city of Detroit has recently worked out a new solution to the problem which almost every city in size has to contend with— that is, fire breaking out front spontaneous combustion in the various dumping grounds and waste fields.
In Detroit, as is true in most places, the waste fields are at a considerable distance from fire hydrants. Also, being newly made land, the ground is light and porous and in many places not sufficiently strong to sustain the weight of heavy fire trucks.
Such fires, as a rule, do not cause any serious danger unless thev should happen to extend beyond the field itself. However, in Detroit there have been serious and continual objections raised by nearby inhabitants or factories from the amount of smoke being blown off of the field continuously. Also, because of the wide area Detroit covers, the city officials have found it advantageous to run into the fields the street car tracks and by using work cars over the street railway they are able to haul their refuse and waste long distances at much less than it would cost by teams.
The fire, therefore, breaking out in their dumping grounds has burned up the railway ties and thus caused an appreciable loss.
There has been serious objection to bringing in any of the heavy duty fire trucks to handle such fires. The expensive nature of the equipment would result in greater damage and loss in the fire equipment than has otherwise resulted from the fire being allowed to burn in the waste fields. Recently fire broke out from spontaneous combustion in the new’ 500-acre Aviation Landing Field, which is now being filled in by being used as a dumping ground. This fire broke out on Saturday night, and over Sunday, which was a rainy day, it had spread sufficiently to burn up some $500 worth of the street railway ties.
On Monday morning, although the fire was continuing to spread, it was the general opinion of the hire Captain and other officials concerned that the heavy duty fire apparatus could not be safely gotten into the field and that some other means would need to be tried.
A Jaeger fire pumper, which is designed for fighting fires in villages and rural communities was tried.
For the emergency demonstration, the Jaeger pumper, mounted on the front end of a light commercial roadster, was able to travel in quickly over the dirt roads leading into the fields, which were a sea of mud at that time, over the new made lands and down to a ditch filled with w-ater. mud and grit. In a few moments the necessary line of hose w’as laid and the special pumper was handling water out of the ditch, through the hose and onto the fire in the aviation field. The pressure of sixty to eighty pounds proved to he ideal to penetrate the crust on top of the new made field and down to the underneath portion where the fire was blazing and spreading. In a short time all of the fire along the street railway tracks had been put out. 1 hen the firemen proceeded to confine the fire within the area already burning and thus stop its spread.
As a result of the demonstration made, the city purchased the pumper.
The light weight of the equipment permitted it to he taken into places that no heavy fire truck could reach.