Fire Hazard at Hornell.

Fire Hazard at Hornell.

Hornell is one of the thrifty little “southern tier” cities of New York State which has shown some growth during the past ten years, having a population at the present time approximating 14,000. Its manufacturing interests are varied, but small; one of the railroads maintains extensive repair shops there. The city lies in the valley of the Camsteo river and covers an area of 2.4 square miles. Elevations above mean sea level range from 1,135 to 1,270 feet. The mercantile district lies mainly along two intersecting streets, each of which, according to the National Board of Underwriters’ committee on tire prevention, would form a good fire-break. These divide the district into setions, in all of which construction is weak from a fire protection standpoint, and each of which is subject to one tire. Fires of proportions too great to be controlled in their early stages by the small number of paid men in the fire department are probable, and the available water supply is inadequate and at poor pressure, so that the conflagration hazard is serious for the individual sections of the district. Outside this district the hazard is serious in the various groups of shingle-roofed dwellings. The city owns its water works which were built in 1882. The supply is taken from a storage reservoir, filtered and delivered to the distribution system in one service by gravity. Seeley creek was dammed in 1882 at a point four miles north of the city’s center and two miles from the filter plant, forming an impounding reservoir covering about 13.3 acres, and draining an area of about 11 square miles; capacity 37,744,750 gallons. The dam is 500 feet long; elevation of spillway, 1,375 feet; two outlet pipes, 10 and 20 inches in diameter. Stevens mill pond, located one-half mile above the reservoir on the same creek, has a storage capacity of 2,846,000 gallons, with an additional storage of about 2,000,000 when cleaned out. From the storage reservoir, two supply mains, a 16and a 20-inch, laid respectively in 1882 and 1908, and about 11,000 feet long, extend to the filter plant, where they connect and supply the filters through a 16-inch main. From the filter a 16-inch extends to a standpipe, from which a 16-inch main, about 15,400 feet long, continues to the distribution system. Filter plant and standpipe can be by-passed and supply obtained direct from the storage reservoir. The filter plant is located about 2⅛ miles north of the principal mercantile district, are six horiontal pressure filters constructed of steel, each 20 feet long and 8 feet in diameter, with a combined rated capacity of 3,600,000 gallons per day; each is supplied from the 16-inch main through an 8-inch pipe entering the top of filter: discharge is through an 8-inch pipe into a 16-inch. Plant was installed in 1890. Filters are washed daily. The nearest fire station is 2½ miles away. The standpipe is located about 150 feet east of filter house. Built in 1898, of riveted steel, 50 feet in diameter, 31 feet high; elevation of high water, 1,359; capacity, 450,000 gallons. Standpipe rests on a substantial brick masonry foundation and is not covered. A 1story frame pumping station, built in 1898. is located on the creek about 300 feet north of the filter plant. The equipment consists of a 35 h p. boiler installed in 1900, and a compound, duplex, double-acting Worthington pump, capacity about 600,600 gallons per day. taking suction through a 6-inch pipe from the creek and discharging through a 1-inch pipe into the 16 inch main from the reservoir to the filters. It is estimated by the water department that the average daily consumption is 1.500,000 gallons, or about 115 gallons per capita; maximum consumption occurs during the summer months and is due to the large amount used for sprinkling purposes. Only I of the 3.124 services in use September I. 1910, were metered. It is reported that house to house inspection to detect waste was made m 1907. There are six services 4 to 8 inches in diameter; these furnish supply for sprinkler and yard hydrant equipments. A recording gage maintained at the water office at elevation 1.163 was found to be about 25 pounds low at time of inspection. Corrected, the records show that the average pressure during the night is 75 pounds and during the day about 68 pounds. On September 8. 1910, pressure readings were taken by a National Board engineer, between 9 and 11:39 a. m., at 45 hydrants well distributed throughout tlie system, with the following results; 1’ressure in the principal mercantile district, about 65 pounds per square inch; average for the whole city, 64 pounds; maximum, 79; minimum, 23. Distribution is in one service, supplied by gravity. The principal mercantile and adjoining districts are practically level, while the residential districts east of the river and in the western part of the city are very hilly

The entire city supply would be cut off in case ot a break in the supply main from the standpipe There were 161 public and 9 private hydrants in service Sept. 15, 1910. the average lun ar spacing being 360 feet, and the average area served by each. 94,000 square feet. The flows from 29 hydrants in 7 well distributed groups were measured by an engineer of the National Board on September 14, 1910, to determine the probable supply available for fire protection. In all groups, the pressure remaining in the system at point of test was such that the flows could not he used as direct hydrant streams and engines would be necessary. Even at these low pressures, twenty hydrants, or 70 per cent, of those tested, failed to deliver 500 gallons per minute, while eight delivered less than 200 gallons per minute. The two tests made in the vicinity of large manufactories averaged less than 400 gallons per minute per hydrant, while in one test two hydrants gave no flow while the other two were open. The small flows and the inability to maintain satisfactory residual pressures on mains are due to the unusually large amount of 4-inch pipe in use. the lack of main arteries and the insufficient capacity of the supply main.


The fire department is composed of part fullpaid and part call, assisted by two companies of volunteers. Chief Joseph M. Hcderntan has been connected with the department for eighteen years and has been chief eleven years. The total force numbers 138 men—seven full paid, eleven part paid call, and 126 volunteers. The organization consists of one combbined hose and ladder company, composed of the permanent and call men, with no officers, and two hose companies, having volunteer organization with a foreman, assistant foreman, secretary, treasurer and board of trustees. The only engine is of the rotary type and has not been used since 1896. It is not in serviceable condition and no dependence is placed upon it. The one ladder truck has a steel frame and is provided with a tiller; it is equipped with a 2-horse hitch and has plain bearings and iron tires. In addition to the 55-foot manuallyraised aerial ladder, it carries a 46 and a 35foot extension and six other ladders, of which two have roof hooks and two are pompiers. I he hose wagon in service is of the combination type with a steel hose body; it is provided with two tanks having 2 1/2-inch connection. Two plain hose wagons, one of which is provided with a turret nozzle, are kept in reserve. The three reels are of the 2-wheel type and are pulled by hand. One reel has no regularly assigned company. There are 2,500 feet of hose in service and 3,600 feet of spare hose. Hose is 2 1/2-inch double jacket, cotton, rubber-lined, and is purchased under 3 year, 400 pound guarantees. The amount on hand includes 2,060 feet purchased in the past three years


Water Supply.— Municipal works; organization and management fairly efficient ; records deeid edly incomplete. Supply from impounding reservoir; storage inadequate, but with improvements contemplated will be sufficient. Mains to the city of insufficient carrying capacity, and no duplicate main provided Water filtered. Consumption unknown, but probably high. Pressures mainly good but poorly maintained at time of heavy draft. Distribution system weak; mains too small and poorly gridiroitcd. Gate valve spacing wide Hydrants mostly of unsatisfactory type; distribution fair to poor; condition good.

Fire Department. Part full paid, part call, and part volunteer. Financial support inadequate. Permanent members appointed for indefinite terms; too few permanent men. Distribution of companies fair. Ladder and chemical service weak. Hose supply inadequate. Minor equipment fairly good; appliances for handling powerful streams deficient. Drills lacking; building inspections mainly good. Fire methods good. Records incomplete.

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