SEPTEMBER’S fire loss for the United States and Canada, which at the beginning of the month was expected to be normal, turned out quite the other way. It amounted to $14,203,650—an increase of $4,811,550 over the loss during the same month in 1897, and $6,003,000 over that of 1896. This swells the fire loss for the first nine months of the year to a sum far exceeding the amount in 1897, in which the waste by fire was abnormally light, and brings it within $924, 700 of the abnormally heavy loss of 1896. By comparing the following figures an accurate estimate of the fire waste from January to September inclusive, during the first nine months of the year 1896, 1898, and 1897 will be arrived at:

In the month just past there were 151 fires,which caused a loss of from $20,000 to $2,500,000, as follows:

Ten thousand dollars to $20,000, forty-four; $20,000 to $30,000. thirty-three; $30,000 to $50,000, twenty-five; $50,000 to $75,000. eighteen; $75,000 to $100 000, seven; $100,000 to $200,000, fourteen; $200,000 to $2,500,000—total, 151.

Of these fires the most destructive were as follows:

Owosso, Mich., furniture, fixtures and other $200,000; Memphis, Tenn., grain elevator and mills. $245 000; Prescott, Aiix., various, $1,000,000; New Westminster, B. C-, various, $2,500,ooo;Toledo,Ohio, grain elevator,$650,000;Washington, D. C., furnishing store and other, $250,000; North Weymouth, Mass., fertilizer factory, $480,000; Colorado, forest fires, $600,000; Cumberland, Wfs., lumber plant and other,$225,000; Wisconsin, forest fires, $800,000.

The outlook for the fire insurance companies is somewhat gloomy, and it is pretty certain that, unless the average for the last three months of the year is considerably less than that for the first nine, the total loss for 1898 will be at least equal to that of 1896. It must, of course, be taken into consideration that the recent forest fires in Wisconsin and Colorado have had much to do with swelling the total of fire waste, and that by no means all the loss will fall upon the underwriters. At the same time some of it will, and, judging from the most recent news, the danger from that source is by no means over.

No posts to display