FIRE NEWS FROM CLEVELAND
(From Our Regular Correspondent.)
Every man of Engine Company No. 16 is laid up with the Spanish influenza, Fireman Frank Stengel having died.
The firemen of this city have acted unselfishly in the settlement of the proposed strike. Both Chief Wallace and the citizens of Cleveland were confident that the men would not desert them at this critical time. Any citizen of Cleveland or any other city who saw the conditions of not only fire but deadly acid fumes, the chief and men had to combat at the recent Grazilli Chemical fire, they would not begrudge the eight hours and more pay. The firemen of the city of Cleveland from the chief down are one of the most under-paid—considering the long hours and hazardous work— department of its size in the country. Cleveland will go before the next Ohio legislature and cite an agreement that was made settling the threatened walkout of city firemen, to support an argument for legislation granting financial relief for cities and as evidence of the seriousness of the problem that present tax limitations have imposed. Mayor H. L. Davis’s proclamation gives effect to the eight-hour law dating back to Nov. 10, 1917, and when the city gets the money, the firemen, who have been working 24 hours daily with one day off every three days, will draw a substantial sum in the form of back pay from that date. The firemen contend, and their argument is supported by County Treasurer John J. Boyle, that the needed money can be obtained by special taxation. William, C. Weller, . United States commissioner of conciliation, who has been part in the city for several days taking part in the negotiations. aided to bring about the compromise. The firemen organized a union to give weight to their demands, and finally submitted resignations, effective October’ 18. but the Chamber of Commerce stick these resignations all were withdrawn.-v The Mayors proclamation reads:
“In order that there may be no further misunderstanding as to my position with regard “to’ the eight-hour day amendment to the charter, and in grder. that the lives and property of the pfthH? be fully protected, I’am again staling my attitude in the form of a pro_____ tion, as requested by the Chamber of Commerce. Now, herefore, I, Harry L. Davis, mayor of Cleveland, by virtue of authority and power in me vested, do hereby publicly proclaim and announce that the eight-hour day law as applied to the police and fire departments of the city of Cleveland, is in full force and effect as of Nov. 10, 1917. In view of the abnormal conditions due to the war and the shortage of man power resulting therefrom, it is expressly understood that the men in the police and fire departments shall remain and continue at work as at present, until such time as the proper financial arrangements can be concluded to put the eight-hour day law into actual operation. It is further understood that nothing herein contained shall prejudice the rights of the firemen in litigation pending.”
East Cleveland, a small suburb of Cleveland, was threatened recently with what might have proved to be a disastrous flat fire. A ten-suite flat caught fire in one of the upper suites through the carelessness of a child playing with matches. The flames made rapid headway and the entire East Cleveland department responded with the motor pumping engines and a service truck, which were immediately put in service, but while the fire was at its height both motor pumping engines broke down. For a time until repairs were made it looked as though the Cleveland department would have to be called.
An item in last week’s correspondence, relating to a White motor pumping unit which had been temporarily placed in service at Station No. 1, to take the place of the motor pumper, which was one of the two which broke down at the fire described above, referred to the East Cleveland department, and should have so read.