FIRE NEWS OF THE WEEK

FIRE NEWS OF THE WEEK

The estimated losses by fire in the United States and Canada, reported for the week ending April 3, amounted to $10,646,000.

The Lansing, Mich., Legislature has passed the bill providing for a State fire marshal.

Fifty applicants for places in the Milwaukee, Wis., fire department have been examined during the last week.

A new Firestone service depot has been opened in Washington, D. C. Meeley, the Tire Man, at 1736 Fourteenth street. N. W.

The Cetone firemen’s bill in Ohio providing that members of city fire departments shall have twelve hours off in each twenty-four has been recommended for passage by the Senate Cities Committee.

Out of 900 applicants who took the civil service examination for pipemen and truckmen in the Chicago, Ill., fire department, only 274 passed. The 10 highest averages ranged from 85.02 to 91.33 per cent.

Fanned by a strong wind, a bonfire started in an alley at Milwaukee, Wis., by children caused a fire in the heart of a fashionable residence quarter filled with apartment houses that did $50,000 damage.

The Bryan, Tex., council, at a recent meeting, passed an ordinance creating the office of fire marshal and A. E. Worley was appointed to fill the place. The office will lower the key rate 3 cents on the hundred.

With the resignation of all the members of the Parnassus, Pa., volunteer fire department, the council has appointed J. W. Simpson and G. M. Hamilton fire chief and assistant, respectively, to organize a new department.

Wilmington, Del., will not have a paid fire department during the next two years as far as the legislative authority is concerned. The bill which was introduced to that effect has been stricken from the calendar of the Legislature.

Members of the fire department in Lincoln, Neb., with one day off in six, are waging a campaign to secure a twelve-hour shift, and in the opinion of Fire Chief Henry Clement, they have good prospects for securing their demands.

A chemical auto of the fire department turned over while making a run in answer to an early morning alarm at Houston, Tex., and four firemen were injured. High speed and striking the curb while rounding a curve caused the accident.

The fire department horses of Hose Company No. 1, Decatur, Ala., ran over Chief Bud Ford last week. The horses tramped on him and one wheel of the wagon passed over his body. His injuries are such that he will be confined to bed for several weeks.

Fire Commissioner William Andrews, of Providence, R. I., is seriously ill at his home in that city, suffering from a nervous breakdown. He was taken sick on March 21 and his condition is such that his family and relatives at Chicago were telegraphed for.

The February report of Chief Bennett, of Birmingham, Ala., shows that the department responded to 108 alarms, ran 1,727 blocks, laid out 26,150 feet of hose, used 397 gallons of chemicals and raised 1,334 feet of ladders. The total fire loss amounted to only $3,065.

A bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature aimed at securing for the employes of the police and fire departments of cities free rides on street cars. The act is compulsory. The companies, under its provisions, will be obliged to grant free transportation to these men when in uniform.

The business district of Webbers Falls, Okla., has been practically wiped out by a tire which caused a loss of about $250,000. The blaze started in a drug store, and, fanned by the high wind, they swept through the business section, taking all buildings with the exception of one. a large mercantile store.

The automobile fire engine from the central station, Dallas, Tex., made a run of over a mile to a fire in three minutes and forty seconds from the tap of the first bell. The time would probably have been shorter as the start could not be made until the full number of taps designating the box had been rung.

The city officials of Macon, Ga., are preparing for the arrival of three pieces of automobile apparatus, comprising an engine, a chemical and a truck, which were bought recently at a total cost of $18,5oo. It will be remembered the first piece of motor apparatus installed in Macon last May met with an accident, killing three firemen

John L. Kyne, of East Syracuse, president of the New York State Volunteer Firemen’s Association, has protested to Senator J H. Walters against the Hoey hill, aimed to permit foreign insurance companies to do business in New York State without paying the 2 per cent, tax, as is done by stock companies for the benefit of the F’iremeu’s Pension Fund.

Chief of the Minneapolis, Minn., fire department. C. W. Ringer, has issued instructions to firemen that the department will not be responsible for bills incurred by them for food obtained from restaurants during fires. The chief says that during a recent fire firemen secured eatables front nearby restaurants, left their checks and that the proprietors of the places saved the checks and forwarded bills.

The city council of Los Angeles, Cal., have instructed the city attorney to draft an ordinance limiting the number of persons who shall be permitted within fire or police lines. It is the intention of Chief Eley and the fire commissioners to exclude special officers, deputy sheriffs and deputy constables. The proposed ordinance will provide for a pass-card system instead of a badge system.

The Senate Insurance Committee of Pennsylvania has agreed to report out one of the bills providing for a State fire marshal after hearing delegations from Philadelphia and Pittsburg, including the fire chiefs of Doth cities. All the fire insurance companies of the State have agreed to a State tax of 1/4 of 1 per cent, on their premiums to compensate the State in providing the new office and its machinery.

Their demand for increased pay being refused, all the members of the Bloomington, Ind., fire department, including Chief Frank Todd, have handed in their resignations to the city council to take effect April 1. The council has decided to reorganize the department. Chief Todd, wdiose pay is $70 a month, and Assistant Chief James Durnell, whose pay is $55 a month, will retire with their men. The men have been receiving $50 a month.

Iowa firemen who have served for a period of twenty-two years may be retired upon halfpay upon the attainment of the age of fifty years by the terms of a bill by Boettger, of Scott County, which passed the Senate and the House of the Legislature. The present law provides for the retirement of firemen at the age of fifty-five years if they have served for twentytwo years and if at the age of fifty-five they are incapacitated for service.

During 1910 12,335 acres of second growth, not yet merchantable timber, 140,933 acres of cut over lands and 13,319 acres containing 43,496,000 board feet of timber were burned over in the State of Washington, according to the sixth annual report of J. R. Welty, State fire warden. During the months of June, July, August and September there were 887 timber fires. The largest number was in August, when 395 were reported. July comes second, with 272.

Every automobile and motor boat whose home garage or dock, as the case may be, is in Ohio, will have to carry an efficient fire extinguisher as a part of its equipment under the terms of a hill which may be introduced into the general assembly shortly. It is said that the automobile dealers favor such a hill, saying that it would he a safeguard to their garages, where outside cars art stored, and in the matter of motor boats the bill is said to be necessary as a safeguard to life.

Fire Chief Dillon, of Grand Island, Neb., submits the following report of his department for the ensuing year: The department answered 56 alarms and traveled 61 miles. They used 180 gallons of chemical and laid 14,000 feet of hose. The loss by fire was $119,442.70 and the insurance paid on this loss was $95,674.20, leaving the actual loss $23,768.50. Practically all of this was in the disastrous fire of the Nebraska Mercantile Company. Two fires were out of the water limit.

Members of the Eatontown, N. J.. township fire department are greatly interested in the new fire ordinance which calls for a reorganization and regulation of the fire department to include, besides the two companies at Eatontown, the company at Oceaiqiort. The ordinance restricts Oceanport to only one company, to comprise all the present equipment. Eatontown is to retain two companies as now existing. Oceanport will be entitled to sixty members, while each Eatontown one will have not more than forty.

Fire Commissioner George C. Hale, of Kansas City, Mo., has made the following statement: “The civil service commission will insist upon a civil service examination of the members of the fire department, but on a practical and not academic basis. School-book learning will not be considered an asset to a fireman. The man who can answer what is expected of a fireman when life and property are at peril and can show that his knowledge is based on practical experience will be at the top on the list of eligibles. Tried and true men will continue in the service.”

Fire Chief Emmons, Secretary L. Erdahl and seven members of the Stoughton, Wis., fire department, have resigned, to take effect April 3, on which date the city will rigidly enforce the State laws which put the department under the council and fire and police commission. The men felt that they could not hold their individual positions and those on the department at the same time without inconvenience. The commission will meet and settle the salary difficulty. Each man will receive $35 annually, with fines of $1 for fires and 50 cents for monthly meetings missed.

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has handed down a decision in favor of Louis Schaetzle, exchief of the fire department, in his case against the city of Ashland. Schaetzle sued the city in order to compel payment of an annual pension, which the city is obliged to pay to any fireman who resigns or is removed after twenty-two years’ service. The Supreme Court held that Schaetzle has served twenty-two years under the pension law and that the city must pay him half his salary for the time since he was removed. a year and a half ago, and continue to do so as long as he lives.

Money received from the sale of any buildings, grounds or apparatus belonging to the paid fire department of any city or town in Iowa shall be returned to the fire fund under the provisions of the Boettger hill, which passed the Legislature recently. The bill makes the following provisions with reference to the fire fund in cities having a paid fire department: “Provided, that where a paid fire department is maintained, all money derived from the sale of any buildings, grounds or apparatus of such fire department which was originally paid for out of the fire fund, shall belong to said fire fund.”

More than fifty houses were destroyed by a fierce fire which raged for several hours at Colon, Panama Canal Zone, last week. The local fire brigade and fire forces from the canal zone found great difficulty in checking the flames, and as a last resort dynamite was used to blow’ up several buildings as the flames were creeping close to the canal zone houses. The commissary, containing a stock valued at $1,000,006, only 100 yards from the burned district, was saved, Sixty men from the United States gunboat Paducah rendered assistance and a fire brigade was brought over from Panama City. Several lives were reported lost. The material damage amounted to about $360,000.

One of the most destructive fires in Chester, Pa., in recent years occurred last week, the entire plant of the Chester Milling Co. being destroyed hy flames, entailing a loss of about $120,000, The fire started on the top floor of the main building, near the elevator shaft, and in a short time the flames and smoke poured through the top of the cupola. When the firemen arrived the top of the high structure was a mass of flames. On account of the scarcity of fire plugs in that neighborhood the firemen found great difficulty in getting streams on the blaze. The building was covered with thick corrugated iron, which melted off and fell to the ground in huge pieces. Several firemen narrowly escaped being struck by the falling debris. All of the fire companies of the city were in service and heroic efforts were made during the two hours the fire lasted to prevent the blaze from spreading to the surrounding property which included a theater, stores and apartments. The contents of the main building, including hundreds of tons of wheat, bran and cereals of all kinds and valuable conveyer and grinding machinery, were destroyed

FIRE NEWS OF THE WEEK

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FIRE NEWS OF THE WEEK

The estimated losses by fire in the United States and Canada, reported for the week ending March 27, amounted to $8,729,000.

Hagaman, a small town near Amsterdam, N. Y., suttered a $10,000 fire last week, which might have been prevented if the villagers had any fire protection.

Governor Wilson of New Jersey has vetoed the bill which was proposed to regulate the salaries of officers, firemen and employes of fire departments in first-class cities m this state.

The Engel Kress plant, West Bend, Wis., was burned recently. It was the largest pocketbook factory in the country, employing over 250 men. Its destruction represents a loss of $200,000.

In his report for the year 1910, Chief Richard Purcell, of the Richfield Springs, N. Y., fire department states that there were only eight alarms during the entire year with an accompanying loss of about $1,100.

Chief W. H. Glore, of the Salt Lake City, Utah, fire department, has invited the legislature of that state to witness an exhibition drill and rescue work by his department. The invitation was readily accepted.

A resolution providing for putting fire alarm telegraph wires underground and seeking authority from the legislature to hire $10,000 for that purpose has been adopted by the Board of Aidermen at Providence, R. I.

The new fire signal apparatus at Grand Rapids, Mich., received its first practical test recently, in the event of a fire. The apparatus is reported to have worked perfectly, with a great saving of time over the old system.

Sparta, Tenn., has started to work improving its fire protection facilities. Two chemical engines have been purchased and installed and two volunteer companies of ten men each have been organized. A paid lire chief has been appointed.

After being elected head of the Dover, N. H., fire department for eighteen consecutive years, Chief G. E. Varney lost at the recent election to James Smith, the present assistant chief of the department, who has served in that capacity since 1901.

Chief Percy Hoyt, of the Cheyenne, Wyo., department, a wealthy clubman, whose hobby is firefighting, recently notified the department that he had arranged for delivery to it of a watertower, with turret pipe capable of throwing six streams.

A meeting of the executive committee of the Louisiana State Firemen’s Association was held at Thibodeaux, La., March 19. Financial arrangements were made for the sixth annual convention of the association, which will be held at Covington, La., May 20, 27 and 28.

Fourteen students of the Hiram College, Portage County, Ohio, confessed to the state fire marshal that they caused two mysterious fires in that town during the closing days of the football season. Although they all pleaded guilty, telling a clear story of the matter, only few were fined.

One man was killed and three hundred head of cattle were burned to death in a fire which recently destroyed a square block of pens in the Union stock yards at Chicago, Ill. The body of the man was found in the wreckage of a viaduct that fell. Various commission firms owned the cattle.

The Atlanta, Ga., fire department maintains a repair shop, and besides making repairs, builds its own hose wagons. Seven of the home-made wagons are now in service. They cost about $500 each. Chief Cummings states that they are stronger and better in appearance than those purchased.

Fire which started in a hayloft at Clarksburg, W. Va , destroyed the fire headquarters building with a total loss. The horses and most of the apparatus were rescued. The blaze, which is thought to be of incendiary origin, had gained considerable headway before the firemen downstairs discovered it.

James Seaborn, eighty-nine years old, a charter member of the Cleveland. O, Volunteer Firemen’s Association, died recently in that city. Seaborn was born in Wales in 1821 and went to Cleveland in 1818. In 1852 he joined the volunteer fire department, and was one of its most enthusiastic and faithful members.

A fire which originated in the office of the Tallulah, La., water and light plant, threatened the plant with complete destruction, and only the prompt and efficient work of the volunteer fire companies kept Tallulah from being in darkness. The office and records were a complete loss, but the machinery was practically unharmed.

At the monthly meeting of the police and fire board of Lansing, Mich., the report of Fire Chief Delphs showed that during February there were fifteen fires, with a total loss to buildings and contents of $1,483. The cost of maintenance of the three auto engines was $7.41. The total cost of the department during February was $2,310.

Fire in the plant of the Minn Billiard Company, Milwaukee, Wis., which was burned out two months ago, again last week caused a loss of $100,000. One person was killed, while eleven were taken to hospitals badly injured. The blaze is supposed to have been due to an explosion of sawdust. Three men were blown out of the window by the explosion.

By unanimous vote of the Milwaukee, Wis., police and fire department council committee, the ordinance consolidating the alarm systems has been recommended for passage. It was amended to conform with the charter providing that all men under the superintendent must be appointed by the respective chiefs, subject to ratification by the fire and police commission.

The Florence University for Women, at Florence, Ala., was burned March 2, causing a loss of $100,000. The flames spread through the building so quickly that the eighty young ladies were forced to escape from the place scantily attired. While Fireman Donald White was battling with the flames he was severely burned by coming in contact with an electric wire.

Fire Chief Griffith, of Montgomery, Ala., issues a favorable report for the month of February. Although his department responded to as many alarms during the month as it did during the same period last year, the damage by fire is placed at a thousand dollars less. An interesting feature of his report is the statement that the loss on overinsurance paid amounted to $1,065.

A satisfactory test of the new Webb automobile fire engine was made in Dallas, Tex., recently, in the presence of the local fire department officials and others from outside towns. A pressure of 140 pounds was developed at the nozzle and 900 gallons was registered with 2%-inch streams, with 700 gallons with one two-inch stream. This is the second auto engine installed in the service at Dallas. The cost was $8,500.

Mayor Behrman, Commissioner Herman Meister atid Chief Thos. O’Connor have accepted the new Seagrave auto hose truck for the city of New Orleans, La. The machine made a run on St. Charles street, and gave a demonstration of quick work, connecting hose with plugs on different streets. The stream of water thrown was entirely satisfactory, reaching four stories. The engine is operated with gasoline and cost $3,400.

When George Shaw, Chief of the Mason, Mich., Fire Department, went over to the engine house one morning recently he found the hose carts frozen down in 18 inches of solid ice, the boots standing up were filled with ice, also the hats and coats were coated with ice. The damage was caused bv the bursting of water pipes overhead in the Maccabee hall In case of a fire Mason would have to call on the Lansing or Jackson fire departments.

The Indianapolis, ind., council is considering an amendment to the present ordinance prohibiting the use of rotary gongs on any vehicles except those of the police and fire departments and on public or private ambulances. Much criticism has been made of the use of such gongs on interurban cars. It is said the constant sound of the gongs so accustoms people to it that the warning of rapidly moving fire apparatus or police patrols is not heeded.

The Marks Senate bill, in the Utah legislature, creating a relief fund for the idemnity of injured and disabled firemen in that state has been passed. Under the provisions of the bill, all fire insurance companies engaged in business in Utah are required to pay to the state, exclusive of other taxes, one per cent, of all premiums, to make up a fund for firemen who are injured or disabled in fighting fires. In case a fireman is killed at duty, his heirs will be reimbursed out of the fund-

The Chief of Police and the Chief of the Fire Department at Kenosha, Wis., are to receive a salary of $1,350 per year, while assistant chiefs will be compensated at the rate of $1,080 per year. Captains of the Fire Department, electricians in both departments and the Desk Sergeant of the Police Department will receive salaries of $80 a month. The men who travel beats and who are employed as regular firemen will receive $65 per month for the tirst year and $75 for other years in service.

A tire which broke out at midnight in a tenement on Truro street, Boston, threatened to spread and caused three alarms to be sent m in rapid succession. When the blaze was under control, the firemen found the bodies of four adults on the roof. W hile the fire was rapidly eating its way up to his apartment on the top floor, a man dropped his young child out of the window’ to the people on the street below, where it was caught uninjured. The blaze started in the kitchen on the ground floor.

Two automobile fire engines are to be delivered to the Porterville, Cal., department on April 1 These machines, owing to the fact that they are the first of their make to be sold on this coast, are to carry a number of extras for which the city council is to be asked to pay nothing, although they have been required to sign an agreement that in case it is desired by the selling agents of the company to use the machines in trials to prospective customers, the firemen will be turned out to show the machines.

The Hillsboro, Ore., fire department has just celebrated the thirtieth year of its existence. When the organization was effected in 1881, the city had no water system or hydrants, the only means at hand being a few buckets and ladders. Later a hand engine was procured and a cistern dug near the public square to supply water. The waterworks were put into operation in 1891, since which the work of the department has been very efficient, so much so as to receive favorable comment from the insurance adjusters when settling losses.

Janies A. Allen and City Electrician Smith, of Fort Worth, Tex., went to Houston recently to inspect the underground fire alarm system of that city. They returned well pleased with what they saw. Fort Worth is working on plans for an underground system. The city had an offer at one time from a company to install the system there for $7,000. Since then the city has grown and the installation would have to be much more extensive. It is estimated the cost now would be $15,000 or more. There will be several substations. At first the underground system will be restricted to the business portion of the city.

The Furness line freight steamer North Point, which sailed last week from London for Philadelphia, was destroyed by fire in the Thames river two hours after she left her wharf. The crew of forty were taken off in safety after the vessel had been beached. She carried no passengers. The steamer was off Purfleet, about fifteen miles from London, when the fire broke out in the general cargo, which included a quantity of creosote. The flameS spread swiftly and enveloped the craft, the heat being so intense that the plates were rendered red hot to the water’s edge. There was barely time in which to run the boat aground and permit the sailors to escape.

The San Francisco, Cal., Fire Commission, at a recent meeting, decided to recommend to the Civil Service Commission the work done by Fireman I. J. Coyne in saving the life of Mrs. D. T. Sullivan. wife of the then chief of the fire department, in the fire of 1906, she having been buried in the ruins of the firehouse, where she and the Chief were living. Coyne was badly hurt through being crushed by falling bricks and timbers, but dragged himself out of the debris in time to rescue Mrs. Sullivan, whom he heard calling for help. It was at this time that Chief Sullivan received the injuries from which he died. Coyne has applied to take the examination for promotion to the grade of lieutenant and the Commission has made this recognition of the firemen’s bravery.

Mayor Schwab, Safety Director Small and Fire Chief Archibald, of Cincinnati, O., have under consideration the formation of a plan by which the fire department and the building inspection department would co-operate in making inspections of buildings and private houses for fire prevention. The mayor is of the opinion that with systematic inspections the property owners could tie advised to keep their property in such shape that many fires that now develop into serious blazes could be avoided, or at least stopped by the fire department before they gained a great headway. Refuse and rubbish in cellars and garrets are not only causes of fires but serve to give a blaze great headway and spread it over the whole building with rapidity. Chief Archibald has requested the city solicitor to draw up legislation which would give the members of the department the rjght to enter private houses for inspection purposes, which they do not now possess.