Fire Improvements at Minneapolis.
During 1907 the fire department at Minneapolis, Minn., was improved in many of its minor details. The more important improvements included the following: Engine house No. 24, a 2-story building was completed, at a cost of $11,032.82; chemical engine company No. 7 was put in service; a new hook and ladder truck was placed in sendee, the truck carrying 260 ft. of ladder, two 6-gal. tanks and a full equipment of small tools—a new hose wagon was also placed in service. Ten new Junior extension ladders and eleven new cellar nozzles were also added to the equipment and sanitary stalls placed in two engine houses. The manual force consists of 347 officers and men, all faithful and efficient workers and well disciplined. During the past year they responded to 1,472 alarms of fire, including 16 second alarms, 4 second and third alarms combined; 6 third alarms; 18 special calls; and 1 general alarm. In answering these the department traveled both ways a total distance of 16,988^2 miles—an average of about 283 1-7 miles to each piece of apparatus. The engine companies stretched 616,000 ft. of hose—about 116% miles, engine company No. 3 stretched the largest amount—68,500 ft. The hook and ladder trucks and chemical companies raised 30,983 ft. of ladders, and hose companies carrying 8-ft. ladders raised 2,034 ftThe hook and ladder trucks and hose companies carrying chemicals discharged 106 charges. The large chemical engines discharged 339 tanks, and hose wagons, with chemical attachments, discharged 165 tanks—making a grand total of chemicals used about 23,782 gal. The total amount of hours service has been 6,448 hours—an average of about 10y’/z hours to each piece of apparatus. One hundred and ninety-one alarms were answered in April, the heaviest month. More fires occurred between the hours of 5 and 6 p. m. than any other hour of the day—96 in all. Of the different days of the week, Saturday records the largest number of alarms—namely 234. The salvage corps, maintained by the insurance companies in the city, consists of a superintendent, two captains, two lieutenants, a fire-reporter and twenty men. Its equipment consists of four wagons, two buggies, two cutters, a sleigh, two supply wagons, eleven horses and 475 covers. The corps answered 493 first alarms and five special calls; worked 357 hours and ten minutes at fires; spread 1,126 covers; used 116 small chemical and twenty-two bags of sawdust. The fire department, besides its ordinary and proper work, was utilised for miscellaneous and emergency work as follows: Cellars pumped and syphoned out; ponds flooded; standpipes tested; basements pumped out after fires; and burst water mains; also, where water has gone, into cellars after heavy rains, on account of low streets, and where the city would be held responsible. Totals: Service, 230 hours; hose laid, 20,500 ft.; ladders raised, 332 ft. Members of the department have also worked 2,810 hours on repairs to buildings; 338 hours clipping horses; 153 hours hauling feed; and 1,536 hours on fire-alarm lines—making a grand total of extra work done by the department of 6,094 hours. ‘I he repair shop has been found an absolute necessity and has saved the city much money. Except one man at the heavy forge and one other, all the workers are members of the department. The water service was greatly iniproved during the year. The supply was increased by the addition of 126 new hydrants and about 17 miles of water mains of the following sizes and amounts: 6-in., 57,290 ft.; 8-in., 8,715 ft.; 12-in.. 16,372 ft.; 16-in., 4,713 ft.; 20-in. 2,170 ft.; 24-in., 284 ft. The total amount of water mains in the city at the present time is about 351 miles, and the total number of hydrants, 4,019. The apparatus of the department consists cf the following pieces: 2 extra firstsize steam fire engines; 11 first-size, and 9 second-size—a total of 22, 21 of which are in service, and 1, a first-size La France, in reserve; 15 hose wagons, 10 of which are combination, carrying 30-gal. chemical tanks under the seat, with 300 ft. of j4-in. hose, also, 1,000 ft. of 2!^4n. hose; 8 4-whee! hose, carriages in service, and 4 4-wheel hose carriages in reserve; 3 aerial hook and ladder trucks, and 5 service trucks in service, and T service truck in reserve; 7 double-tank chemical engines in service, and 1 double-tank; four of the chemical engines arc fitted up wjth turret-nozzles; 55-ft. Hale water tower; 5 fuel wagons: 2 horseshoeing wagons: 8 chief’s buggies, 1 fire-marshal’s buggy, and 1 veterinary surgeon’s buggy; 9 cutters; 27 sets of bob sleighs; 2 heavy and 1 light shop wagons, and 23 exercising wagons. Of hose the department purchased during the year 5,000 ft. of 2Yi cotton 3-ply—making in service all told 48,506 ft.; chemical hose, i-in.; 4,944 ft.; of which 2,100 were purchased last year; of j4-in. chemical hose 4,466 ft., of which 2,100 was purchased last year. There are 197 horses in service. The Gamewell fire-alarm telegraph system is installed, with one box circuit, and eight individual telephone circuits added to the system last year and two gong and one box circuit ready for installation. Eighteen boxes were added to the system. Superintendent Z. T. Morrison, in the matter of future improvements to the fire-alarm system, heartily concurs in the recommendations made by the National Board of Underwriters, and, while this may mean a considerable expenditure of money, public safety demands that the system be up-to-date in every essential. Many districts of the city are without adequate fire-alarm facilities, particularly in districts of small homes. The American District Telephone company transmitted sixty alarms over its wires —proving itself thereby a valuable auxiliary alarm system. The total property loss for the year amounted to $1,048,838.48, showing an increase due to a larger number of fires and fires of a more serious character. James R. Canterbury is chief, with four assistants.