Salvage Covers Have Been Means of Saving Much Property—Many Incendiary Fires Discovered Through Work of Arson Squad

DETROIT, Mich., reported a fire loss of $1,887,048 for 1933, the lowest the city has had in many years. The Fire Commissioners also reported to the City Council that there were 12,968 alarms of which 2,152 were false and 823 were unnecessary. Fire apparatus was sent outside of the city limits fifteen times during the year. There were 730 special calls, principally for the services of rescue squads.

The low fire losses for the year involve a building valuation of $120,389,754 covered by $106,407,639 insurance. There were only fifteen second alarms, three third alarms and one fourth alarm. Six fires during the year showed a loss of over $30,000.

The total number of runs by apparatus was 44,343; hours of service 5,673; 96,646 miles were travelled and 1,121,680 feet of hose line were stretched. One hundred and thirty-two persons were burned or injured: 11 were found dead; 41 were assisted down ladders; 5 were rescued from buildings; 4 were rescued with life nets; 1 from a cave-in and 2 were assisted down stairways. Rescue squads resuscitated 215 persons; 139 persons treated with pulmotors died.

Detroit Fire Department spreads its own covers in salvage operations. It is estimated that Detroit firemen saved insured property amounting to $29,535 and non-insured property values at $27,900, with salvage covers. High pressure system was operated for 251 fires, a total of 19 hours and 45 minutes, pumping 156,464 gallons. Detroit has 58 pumpers, 30 ladder trucks, 1 tower, 7 chemicals, 4 high pressure wagons, 4 rescue cars, an ambulance and 2 fireboats. There are 9 pumpers and 5 ladder trucks in reserve.

The Arson Squad investigated 888 fires of which 116 yvere found to be incendiary. The Department’s Ambulance travelled 1,966 miles, put in 189 hours of service, made 123 runs, responded to 20 extra alarm fires with 30 hours service and travelled 151 miles to and from extra alarm fires. Ten members in active service died, of whom three were in the line of duty; there were 13 deaths among retired members of which one was in the call of duty and 14 members retired of which four were for injuries sustained in the line of duty.

The report to the Council points out that the department was confronted throughout the year with many trying problems due to the City’s depleted treasury and the most rigid economy program in all branches of municipal service. The lay-off of fire fighters in March. 1932, was rescinded in January, 1933, and discontinued fire companies were re stored to service. The report, like so many others in large cities, complains of the increasing menace of false alarms of fire and suggests closer co-operation of the courts and public officers.

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