EDWARD ATKINSON DENIES.
Some of the British papers having accused Edward Atkinson of having predicted another great fire in the city of London, he denies implicitly and explicitly that he was guilty of uttering such a foolish prophecy. He says that someone must have misrepresented what he said many years ago to Captain (now Sir Eyre Massey) Shaw, then chief officer of the Metropolitan fire brigade, namely, that he pointed out the liability of the British capital to such a disaster, which the fire brigade might be incapable of meeting because of the then defective water supply and fire service. He refers, also, to certain observations he made several years ago to the Artists’ association of London, as to the exposure danger which threatened the National gallery if any of the surroundings, consisting of old ramshackle buildings— some of wood—should catch fire, and upon the insufficient sizes of the fire service pipes and the lack of hydrants, even of small capacity for the supply of fire engines. Since then, however, the National Gallery has been isolated, and a very great change has been made, both in the fire appliances and the organization of the fire brigade of London.’ I he water supply is adequate, although, in Mr. Atkinson’s opinion, the fire hydrants “are still far below [the American] standard. Two years ago (he says) 1 was informed that the “greatest capacity for a fire hydrant was 400 gallons, which would be entirely insufficient to supply one of our steam fire engines. The fire engines of London were then, and may still be very limited in their power to throw a great volume of water, as compared to our own; but, on information of unquestioned authority, after I had heard of this alleged interview, I ascertained that the London fire brigade is now organised in a more effective manner for the scientific control of fires in the relatively low buildings, constructed of safer material and of smaller floor areas than our own.” There are four principal officers in the London fire brigade. The chief has been in the naval service, a master of explosives. His three assistants are respectively a trained mechanical engineer, bred in one of the best shops in England; another, an electric engineer of very long experience; the third, an architect of high standing, who has also been a member of the Building Inspection Department of the city of London. Under these four men an organisation has been perfected which is directed with more scientific precision, not only to the extinction of a tire in a safe building, but to the protection of the neighborhood, than in any city in this country, with the possible exception of Boston and one or two other cities. * * * Two or more of the directors of the fire brigade, including the chief, are mem-, bers of the Association for Fire Prevention, studying the science of preventing loss by fire, by removing the causes of fire and establishing apparatus, not only automatic sprinklers, but the apparatus in chief, so as to catch the fire at the beginning before it has become dangerous.
The business portion and part of the resident section of Scioto. Ill., where there is no fire protection, was burned by a night fire, which started from an explosion of gasolene due to a clerk in a store striking a match while in the act of drawing the explosive fluid for a customer. The fire department from La Harpe went to Scioto on a special train. The estimated loss is set down at quite $25,000. The town has a population of 500,