FIRE DEPARTMENT NEWS
—It is reported that the citizens’ movement to advance $100,000 to the city of San Francisco for the needs of the tire department has come to naught.
—A correspondent at Wilmington, Del., writes us: “A fire committee has been appointed by the city council to administer the affairs of the fire department for the ensuing year. Its members are: Chairman, Michael Sharkey; William J. Baugh, John Curran, James McGee and Samuel Vanderdriff. A new fire company has been organized, of which John Curran is president.”
—At a fire on Tuesday in an apartment house on Third avenue. New York, Mrs. Mackie, a helpless paralytic, was suffocated in her bed on the top floor. There were no fire escapes on the house, the balconies being unprovided with ladders. A woman and two children were rescued from the fifth story by men of Truck Company No. 13 with an extension and scaling ladders, the rest of the tenants escaping by means of the stairways and by crawling along the cornices to the adjoining buildings.
—A cable dispatch reports the almost total destruction by lire of the town of Hammerfest, in Norway. The inhabitants have been rendered homeless and are in a starving condition. Provisions and clothing have been sent from Tromsoe to the sufferers.
—Four persons were suffocated during a tenement house fire at Cincinnati on Tuesday night, while three others were badly burned. Of the thirty occupants twenty-three escaped by the roof.
—Fountain Hose Company of Olean, N. Y., wants the city to build it a new house.
—Ovington Engine Company No. 3 has been formed at Bay Ridge, Long Island, with thirty members. The engine house is on Ovington avenue.
—At the Western Union fire at New York last week the utility of the Bresnan hose hoist was remarked upon. On one side of Dey street a line of hose was being laboriously hauled up to the roof, the rope and hose chafing on the cornice, while opposite another line was going up easily and smoothly over the rollers of a hose hoist. The contrast between the old and new methods was noteworthy.
—Fight hose wagons are being built by the Abbot-Downing Company of Concord, N. H., for the Boston Fire Department.
—The city council of Waterbury, Conn., has voted $500 to defray the expenses of the State firemen’s convention, which will be held in that city on August 5 and 6.
—In order to have a complete record of deaths, the secretary of the Connecticut State Association requests the secretary of any company in the State to forward the name, age and date of death of any of its members since August l, 1889, to John S. Jones, Westport, Conn.
—“Westville’s new hose carriage,” says The Westportcr, “has arrived from the factory, and a meeting has been called for Friday evening, at which it is expected steps will be taken to build a house for the apparatus. A fire company will be organized, and as there is a pressure of ninety pounds to the square inch at the hydrants in the village the people will no longer depend upon the New Haven Fire Department for protection.”
—The Boston Fire Commissioners have adopted an innovation in the fire alarm service. Each driver for a district chief carries a portable telephone, which may be attached to the fire alarm telegraph wires at any box. With this conversation can be carried on with the central office. The portable telephones have just been tested and are said to work successfully.
—“The average fireman,” says The Newark Call, “has not half the dread of fire as he has of a slate roof on a burning building. The flying slates become terrible weapons when shot off the roof by heat, It has been known of a flying slate to strike a fireman’s rubber coat, cut through it and two undercoats and become imbedded in his shoulder. At the Foster Home fire Isaac Edwards of No. 1 Steamer, and John Stevens of No. 2 Truck, were badly cut by flying slates. Assistant Chief Astley displayed great coolness and foresight at the Foster Home fire. It was mainly through his direction that the fire was controlled and the building saved from total destruction.”
—At Cheney, Wash., the firemen have asked the city council to furnish 500 feet of extra hose and put up a building.
—Washington Engine Company No. 1 of the North Shore Fire Department of Staten Island is taking time by the forelock. At a meeting last week it was resolved that the company should visit Chicago during the World’s Fair to be held there. Date not fixed.
—The Echo Hose Company of Shelton, Conn., will make an excursion to New York on August 7.
—A new hose company. Bound Brook Hose Company No. 1, has been formed at Bound Brook, N. J., with William Hagan as president, David Hastings, secretary; Sylvanus Ayres, Jr., treasurer; G. R. Gaddis, foreman, and John Magaw, assistant foreman.
—The fire department at Seattle, Wash., now consists of forty-nine men, divided as follows: Engine Company No. 1, four men; Engine Company No. 2, eight men; Engine Company No. 3, eight men; Engine Company No. 4, eight men; Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, six men; Hook and Ladder Company No. 2, eight men; Chemical No. 1, four men, the chief, the assistant chief and the superintendent of the fire alarm system.
—There were about 3000 visitors from Troy, N. Y., at the firemen’s tournament at Schenectady last week.
—There is a short supply of water at Ionia, Mich., and the citizens are on the anxious seat, dreading fire.
—There is dissatisfaction at Winchenden, Mass., with the working of the fire alarm system.
—At Woburn, Mass., H. F. Laroche was caught by the police last week in the act of setting fire to a stable off High street, where he keeps a horse, harness and wagon insured for $200. He was arraigned and held in $1500 for the Superior Court. Laroche had been suspected for some time of incendiary tendencies, in order to get the insurance. Mr. Wood, the proprietor of the stable, at three different times found evidence of intended incendiarism, and set the police to watch Laroche, with result as above.
—At Malden, Mass., the new $2500 chemical has located in the new fire station in Ward I.
—The Fire Patrol of New Brunswick, N. J., has elected officers as follows: Captain, Charles Felton of Neptune No, 2; lieutenant, W. H. Solomon of Liberty Hose; secretary, Oscar P. Snedeker of Liberty Hose. It has been decided that the patrol shall hereafter guard every fire from the approach of crowds by stretching a rope across streets fully 100 feet distant from the fire itself.
—Many houses are being put up at Willimansett, Mass., and soon fire apparatus ought to be provided. Help from Holyoke could not reach in time to do much good in time of fire. The fire of about a year ago should have taught the lesson of adequate protection.
—Hiram Clark has notified the city of Augusta, Me., that he shall hold it liable for damages done by the fire which about three weeks ago partially burned his carriage manufactory on the east side. It is understood that he brings the action on the ground that the fire engines were prevented from getting to his shop in time to put out the fire on account of the excavations being made on Willow street for a sewer.
—The new police force should be instructed as to their duties at time of fire. The old force turned in and aided the patrol in keeping back the crowd, but although the present ones are always on hand they stand by with folded arms and enjoy the fun, even after being requested to assist.—Altoona (Pa.) Graphic News.
—A fire company is organizing at Buena Vista, Va.
—An important change has been made in the Montreal fire alarm system by which the box signals will be heard at once at the respective district stations instead of going to the central station to be repeated, as heretofore, at a loss of valuable time. —Insurance and Finance Chronicle.
—The proposed removal of a building across Washington street, Salem, Mass., has called forth a protest from underwriters, who claim that it will obstruct engines in case of a fire. If the building is moved it is suggested that a steamer be temporarily placed beyond it as a precaution.
—Speaking of the new fire hall to be built at Clayton, N. Y., The Tribune of Carthage remarks: “Carthage, with three times the wealth of Clayton, cannot afford, it would seem, a respectable place. The present structure is a ‘beauty,’ and if it isn’t blown down or does not fall down, will stand as a lasting monument to the memory of the wiseacres who caused it to be built.”
—Carbondale, Pa., is endeavoring to organize another fire company.
—A Phoenix, Ariz., item says: “The city council have well defined plans for the improvement of our fire department. Needed repairs on the steamer are to be made at once and an ample supply of the best hose purchased to take the place of the old supply, which is both inadequate and rotten.”
—Two first-class Clapp & Jones fire engines were delivered to the Boston Fire Department last week. The engines are the largest ever used in the city and will require a three-horse hitch. After being tested one of the steamers will be known as 35, and will be placed in the double engine house on Mason street. It has not been decided where the other will be placed.
—A fire at Green Cove Springs, Fla., on Monday caused a loss of over $60,000, a whole business block going under. The place had absolutely no protection against fire.
—Says The Troy (N. Y.) Observer: “The city of Troy treats the fire department employees very shabbily. In Albany the engineers, firemen and drivers receive $5 per month each more than here, they get a vacation of seven days with pay, and every tenth day off. It is the same in Syracuse and other cities. The Albany authorities only recently made a place at a fair salary for a disabled employee of the fire department, while Troy permits Driver Connolly of the Ranken to remain idle for nineteen months after injuries sustained while in the performance of his duty. The Troy Fire Department employees should be treated better.”
—District Engineer James Dale is to be appointed assistant chief of the Brooklyn Fire Department, to succeed Assistant Chief John Smith, who retires August 1.
—The board of fire underwriters of Portland, Me., has voted to call the attention of the city government to the poor condition of the fire alarms and to urge immediate action.
—The committee on ordinance of the Boston city council is considering an order to amend the ordinances of 1890 so that the provision appertaining to the storage of naphtha and other burning fluids shall not apply to the city lamp-lighters who have charge of naphtha-burning lamps. In regard to the matter The Boston Herald says: “It is customary to supply the lamp-lighters with the fuel needed for their lamps, and under ordinary circumstances we are given to understand that the supply that a lamp-lighter would receive would be from four to six barrels of naphtha. Now, if each of these lamp-lighters is permitted, without license or restraint of any kind, to keep this quantity of explosive and inflammable material, it is hardly necessary to say that at almost any time a disaster may occur terribly serious in its consequences to life and property. For example, a lamp-lighter might be living in a tenement house in one of the suburban districts; the proposed law would permit him to keep his supply of naphtha in the cellar or yard of the building and, although personally aware of its dangers, he could not control the action of his neighbors, which might lead to fire and explosion, destroying the building and perhaps the lives of all its inmates. The request is one which, on its face, should not be granted, and if granted should be surrounded by a number of qualifying conditions.”
—Last week’s fire losses in the United States are estimated by The Standard (Insurance) at $3,170,000. At this rate the estimated loss for the year would be $80,353,290.
—Examination of the fire hydrants at Carbondale, Pa., last week showed many of them to be absolutely worthless. A complete overhauling has been recommended.
—At Black River, N. Y., D. Dexter’s Sons have placed a pump in their building, and those interested have purchased pipe and hose, so that the south side may be protected in case of fire.
—Sherodsville, O., a village without a fire department, was entirely destroyed by fire last Saturday morning early. The fire is supposed to have been set by burglars.
—The fire alarm and police telegraph wires in New York city will be put into the same duct, despite the opposition of both departments. The Board of Electrical Control having decided the matter the Mayor will not interfere.
—The new fire boat, the New Yorker, is having her pumps put in at Jersey City.
—The annual convention of the Massachusetts State Firemen’s Association will be held at Lawrence, September 11, 12 and 13.
—Boston’s new fire boat, Engine 31, is still on the stocks undergoing repairs, while the relief, William M. Flanders, is stationed at India wharf.
—The annual convention and tournament of the Vermont State Firemen’s Association will be held at Burlington, August 5 and 6.
—The annual election of officers of the Patchogue (L. I.) Fire Department, held on Tuesday, July 8, resulted in the election of the Hon. Edwin Bailey as chief; Wm. L. Chapman, assistant chief; John J. Crave and Andrew Tishel, directors.
—At the election of officers for the Newtown (L. I.) Fire Department, held last week, Oliver H. Perry was re-elected chief; first assistant, Thomas F. McDonald; John Jones of the Woodside company was elected second assistant chief, and Bernard Becker of Winfield, third assistant.
—The chief engineer of the fire department of Passaic, N. J., reports but five fires during his term, with a total damage of $1360; insurance, $950. The city possesses three steam fire engines, one hose cart and two hook and ladder trucks, all in good condition except engine No. 3, which needs a new boiler. No. 1 engine-house needs repair, others in good condition. The chief recommends the purchase of new fire badges bearing the number of the company, a suitable hose carl for engine No. 2 and 500 feet of rope for a street fire line. He further recommends the purchase of 2000 feet of hose to keep a double supply on hand, and the building of a small hose tower.
—The Exempt Firemen’s Association of Troy, N. Y., will be represented at the Watertown convention by C. H. Richardson and George Corps, and the Ranken Steamer Company by Captain Thomas L. Kavanaugh, William Marvin, J. H. Flaherty and Nathan L. Hodgman.
—Says The Troy (N. Y.) Observer: Why delay the raising of the fund for a monument to the memory of the late chief engineer, Jacob Lansing Lane? Let it be inaugurated at once. Any funds intrusted to the care of The Observer will be duly acknowledged in this column.
—Marcus P. Norton of New York was in the city the past week collecting evidence to be used in the coming suit against the Metropolitan fire authorities for infringement of patent on a relief valve, which was patented by James Knibbs, the present superintendent of fire alarm telegraph in this city. The case has been in the courts for years and involves the sum of $2,000,000. So far the plaintiff’s have met with reverse decisions, but should they win it will make them and the patentee immensely wealthy.— Troy Observer, July 20.
—At the firemen’s tournament at Schenectady, N. Y., last week, the first prize in the drilling was awarded to the Durkee Hose Company of Fort Edward. The McCreary Steamer Company of Cohoes received second prize, Whitney Connors won the 220-yards dash, P. Donovan the 100-yards dash and Thomas Williams the one-half mile run. The Hathaways of Port Henry won the hose race, 300 yards, in 42 5/8 seconds; the Defiance of Walton came second in 44 1/4 seconds. The time of the others was: Decker hose, Johnstown, 48 1/2 seconds; Gaylords of Whitehall, 46 3/4 seconds; Neptune Hose of Gloversville, 52 seconds; Ontario Hose of Norwich, 45 seconds; Le Roy Hose of Cohoes, 45 seconds; Hydrant Hose of Fort Plain, 49 1/2 seconds; Jewell Hose of Catskill, 50 3/4 seconds. The Le Roys subsequently challenged the Hathaways to race for $500, but they refused.
—The National Line steamer Egypt from New York, July 10, for Liverpool, has been burned at sea. All hands were saved by another vessel.
—Powhattan Hose Company No. 2 of Chester, Pa., has been organized. James Farman is secretary.
—Salt Lake City, Utah, has received a 75-foot aerial ladder truck from E. B. Preston & Co. of Chicago.
—The Lindgren-Mahan Chemical Fire Engine Company of Chicago has shipped to Tacoma, Wash., a double 80-gallon tank four wheeled engine.
—Sergeant McFinn (instructing the new recruit).—“Yez pull down the hook fur as ye can and wait one minute for to hear de bells. Is it clear to yez?” Patrolman Newclub—“Yes, sir; all clear. But how do yez ring in a false alarm, sergeant, if ye plaze?”—Bostonian.
—Dowagiac, Mich., has bought 500 feet of White Anchor hose through Hull & Thompson, the Chicago agents.
—Zeeland, Mich., is going to have better fire protection.
—Port Huron, Mich., is to have a fire alarm and police call system.
—A dispatch from Spokane Falls, Wash., dated July 23, says: “Early this morning fire destroyed properly valued at nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Monroe street bridge, a new structure costing $40,000, was entirely consumed. Julius Glenn, a negro, keeper of a lodging house in which one of the blazes originated, was arrested on suspicion of arson.”