EXPLOSIVES IN PITTSBURGH.
Chief Humphreys, of the fire department of Pittsburgh, Pa., calls the attention of Director Brown, of the board of public safety, to the reported fact that oil, gunpowder, dynamite, and other high explosives are stored in large quantities in various sections of the city, forming, in case of fire, a standing menace to both 1 fe and property. He points out that, while there is an ordinance limiting the amount of stored gunpowder, there is none regulating that of oil and other high explosives. This, he insists, should be remedied by the passage of a law and the appointment of proper officials to see that the law is enforced and obeyed On the snbject of purchasing a fireboat Chief Humphreys emphatically declares that without an auxiliary pipe through which water can be forced into the heart of the mercantile section, the benefits supplied by the municipality will bv no means be commensurate with the outlay of money required—to say nothing of the necessary annual expenditure to maintain it. The sketching of lines of hose from a boat moored in our river during medium or low stages of water in localities where large fires are likely to occur, would be of such a length that the loss by friction would so impair the efficiency of the streams as to render them of little account; while the time consumed in doing so and getting into service would be discreditable to the entire proceedings. The number of gong alarms to which the department answered last year was 516. of which nine were false; of still alarms, 306, making a total of 822—an increase of ninety over the alarms of the year before. Of these fires twelve necessitated the calling of two additional districts; five, of three; two, of four ; and one, five alarms, with four additional telephone calls. The estimated gross loss was: Insurance, $6,972,359 ; insurance paid, $1,672.716.79 ; net loss, $453,311.42. Chief Humphreys recommends establishing new houses and companies in the Twentieth, Twenty-fourth, Fifth, and Fourth wards—that in the Fourth ward to be equipped with an extra first-size engine and a water tower. A new engine house has been built at the corner of Lincoln avenue and Renfrew street and a new fifth-size Amoskeag engine, built by the American Fire Engine Co., of Seneca Fails, N. Y., has been added to the equipment for use in one of the hilly districts of the city. There were six deaths in the department, three of which were those of firemen who weie crushed to death by the falling walls, one at the Jenkins and Horne fire; the other two at the Edmondson and Perrine fire.