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