FIRE NEWS

FIRE NEWS

In future all acting chiefs, on arriving at a fire in New York city,must instruct their drivers to proceed to the nearest telephone station as soon as possible after their arrival and call up the tire headquarters’ telegraph bureau and give to the bureau the location of tbe fire, its extent, and whether it is probable that assistance will be needed.

The leaves for the uniformed force of the New York fire department are now arranged as follows: Chief officers, twenty-four hours each week; foremen and assistant foremen, twenty-four a week, and twelve hours leave once each month; engineers and firemen, twenty-four hours each three times a month, and three leaves of twelve hours each a month.

The fire department was called from Manhattan borough at 3 o’clock a. m. to pat out afire which started in the laundry on Randall’s Island at 1:30. The blaze spread to the engine house, which, with the laundry, was destroyed. The loss from the tire, whose origin is unknown, was well on to $20,000 No one was hurt, and no inmate escaped.

The steamship Piqua, from Mediterranean ports, arrived at Quarantine on fire The New York fireboats attended to her after the fire bad been alive fur over six hours She was beached.

The Mallory liner Leona, ou which over two years ago seventeen lives werelostby fire, was badly burned while lying at pier 20, East River Three alarms brought twelve engines, four hook and ladder trucks, and the flreboats Robert A. Van Wyck and Seth Low. She was loaded with cotton and laid just arrived from Galveston, Tex. She was valued at $300,000. Total loss at least $250,000.

A man,starving, homeless, and weak from hunger was nevertheless able to rescue a woman from the third story of 3158 Eighth avenue, Manhattan, N.Y., where a $20,000 fire had broken out in a dry goods store. He climbed up the fire escape and brought the woman down. In this case either the fire alarm telegraph failed to work or it was not properly pulled. The flames, therefore, which might have been put out with little or no loss in the beginning, gained great headway.

The omnibus six-story compartment block on 18-22 Desbrosses street, 461 469 Greenwich street,and partly on Watts etreet, Manhattan borough, separated by blank walls with iron doors, and occupied by cordial and extract, caramel and cork factories, burned Loss about $40,000. On August 11,1895, four persons were burned to death and many others permanently crippled in this building.

An afternoon tire broke out in the second floor of the seven-story factory,116Elm street, Manhattan,and spread to the top floors. The lives of many of the employee were suved by the plucky elevator man, Hieronymus Killian, who ran his car up through the smoke and sparks and called for those left behind to get on. The elevator descended through the shaft, which by this time was lighted up by clouds of burning cinders. It plunged rapidly by the second floor, which was a mass of flames, and the human freight was landed on the ground floor in safety. The loss was over $70,000 Notwithstanding the good work of the firemen and the fire patrolmen and their high reputation for honesty, some of those occupying the building insisted that some of the force hud robbed their desks of money. On examination it was found that the complainants could not say whether the firemen wore red hats, or black, or white, or whether the thieves were in uniform or not. If any money were stolen, it was either by the employes or by some persons who were in the bnildingwben the fire broke out. Anyway, all accusations against either branch of the force were shown to be groundless.

Tramps set fire to the historic thirty-roomed Forrest house (The Willows), near Riverdale and Mount St. Vincent on the Hudson, occupied as a summer boarding house, but once frequented by Edwin Forrest. Firemen from tbe Bronx borough attended, but were too late to save the building. Tbe colored caretaker perished

The fourth annual convention of the Southern New York Volunteer Firemen’s association was held this week at Flushing. Queens borough. There was the usual parade with many firemen and pieces of apparatus in line. The association wasorganizpd in 1896, and fire companies in Queens. Nassau, Suffolk, Richmond, and Westchester counties belong to it.

An early morning fire destroyed tbe brick building 246 Bedford avenue, Brooklyn, occupied by the Gatti & McQuade company, dealers in rags, metals, and paper stock. The whole of the premises, which extend nearly 200 feet hack into Berry street, were quickly ablaze. A plumber’s shop—frame building adjoining was slightly damaged. Loss. $27,000

Chief E L. Anderson of the Appleton, Wis , fire department. has been officially exonerated of the chargeof inefficiency brought against him.

A $25,000 blaze at Nettleton Pa., destroyed the Post Office block. No tire protection and only partial insurance.

FIRE NEWS

15

FIRE NEWS

The American Fire Engine company, of Seneca Falls N. Y., has published a large hanging calendar for 1900. Its distinguishing feature—apart from its usefulness—is a highly realistic replesentation of a portion of the New York fire department tearing down Broadway, past the post office, Park row, and St. Paul’s church on the way to a fire. It is thoroughly lifelike and by no means inartistic.

Almost the last of the key fire alarm boxes in the borough of Manhattan has been replaced by a modern alarm, and all of the fire alarm stations in the borough are placed in one class. The box removed was at Two Hundred and Twenty fourth street and Kingsbridge road—a very dark and lonely neighborhood, where there might be difficulty in finding the house where the key was kept. The new box is 949, and it marks the end of the fire telegraph system in the borough There is now only one keyless box south of the Harlem river—on Ward’s Island, where there is, of course, no trouble of finding the key when it is wanted to turn in an alarm. Class 2 series of alarms is also abolished in the borough. All the boxes north of One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street had a prefix of 2 to the regular signal number. That is now confined to the borough of the Bronx.

All the outstanding fire badges are to be culled in and replaced by March 1 with those of a new design. One type will he for the members of the force; the other for newspaper men and others

During the first nine days in January the New York building department ordered owners of property to build 463 fire escapes. The department is enforcing the new law strictly.

Mrs. Jane Dietz, an aged widow, suffocated in a fire at 216 West Twenty-seventh street, Manhattan.

The Elliott handkerchief factory at West Brighton (S. I.), borough of Richmond, burned.

The New York Fire exchange has just made public the official changes iu the rates on New York risks. They cover seven different classes, and the advance, as previously announced, ranges from ten to thirty percent., according to the class of risk. The new rates affect practically every fire insurance company of importance in the city. as all, with a fewexceptions are members of the exchange. The new rates will not apply to holders of policies issued prior to the advance.

Fire Commissioner Scannell will urge upon the municipal council of this city the necessity of passing an ordinance compelling owners of buildings containing more than three families to have lights burning on every floor from sunset to sunrise. The recommendation is the result of investigation of the recent tenement house fires, at several of which a number of lives were lost. The origin in ntanycases followed closely the time when some belated tenant passed up the stairs to his apartments, after striking a match to see his way. A number of the fires started in the halls. If the ordinance is passed, panic will be avoided and many lives will be saved.

The owners of real estate in West Ninety-second street, being concerned only with the value of their property, not with that of human life, have successfully resisted the intention of the fire department to locate a hook and ladder truck house on the vacant lotfunder which is the Croton aqueduct) belonging to the city opposite St. Agneschurcn, between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues. Another site is to be chosen.

Capt Tobin, of the fire department, who was overcome by smoke during the late fire in the bowling alley at West Fifty-ninth street, Manhattan, where so many firemen were prostrated,died on Wednesday in the Roosevelt hospital from the effects. Pneumonia set in

Bids were opened for the building of a new firehouse at Prospect avenue and One Hundred and Fifty-second street in the Bronx. The contract was awarded to Fountain & Choate, of East Twenty-third street, who gave the lowest, bid, $25,398.

A watchman suffocated by smoke during a fire in the unfinished building, 218 East Twentieth street Manhattan He had been on duty only one dav, and had fallen asleep over a clumsy heating machine he had contrived to keep himself warm. It must have overset and so caused the fire

Chief Croker has been dined by his friends at the Waldorf-Astoria, and presented with a handsome dinner service of silver plate

Very soon battalion chiefs and others in the fire department will communicate with fire headquarters in Manhattan during fires by means of a small pocket telephone, the invention of Superintendent Henry F Blackwell, jr. of the fire alarm telegraph bureau. An officer to talk to the central office hangs the telephone over the door of the fire alarm box by meane of a wire bail attached, and inserts the plug in a tapering hole in a brass block within the box which connects with the wires of the circuit The officer signals headquarters with the telegraph key and is answered over the telephone. In the central office terminal, which is only about one square foot in size, there is a duplex telephone set of the Swedish style— the earpiece and mouthpiece being on one gutta percha rod about eight inches long. Conversation is easily intelligible over the telephone circuits, and greatly simplifles the work of battalion chiefs, who formerly could communicate from the signal boxes only by the telegraph key within the box. The fire alarm boxes in the downtown districts are being fatted out with the connections first, and afterwards the more remote stations will be connected—the entire number of boxes in the greater city eventually being supplied

In trying to save her sister during a fire in the boardinghouse, 415 West Fifty-seventh street, Manhattan, Miss Natalie Miles received fatal burns Two other women were badly burned, and several were overcome by smoke. The firemen made some daring rescues from the windows by means of their ladders. They also rescued a pet collie dog at no little risk to themselves

The Veteran or Exempt Firemen’s association of the borough of Queens is moving vigorously against a bill which has been introduced in the legislature of New York State by Assemblyman Metcalf, of Richmond. The bill will deprive the Exempt association of Queens of all right and title to any part of the amount derived from the levy of a two per cent, tax on the business of foreign insurance companies doing business in the State The bill is, therefore, unfair and unjust, and there is no reason why Queens should be thus discriminated against.

A large part of the town of Ward, Colo., a mining camp in the mountains fifteen miles from Boulder, was destroyed by an early mornirg fire, which started in the McClancy hotel. The mills and mines just outside the town were not damaged, however. Loss, $70,000. Another early morning fire broke out in Lafayette, about twelve miles from Boulder, and spread rapidly before a high wind A large part of the town was devastated, and several thousand dollars’ worth of property destroyed. Lafayette is the principal coal mining camp in Northern Colorado. Nearly all the business buildings in both Ward and Lafayette were burned. The loss at Lafayette is estimated at $100,000.

Fire, with a mysterious origin,destroyed the Jones business block and drug store at Cuyahoga Falls Ohio. Loss, about $4,000 The village is to hold its fourth election for the issuing of bonds for water works purposes, and it is claimed by some that the fire was started by unknown incendiaries to influence votes.

The San Francisco, Cal., fire commissioners have made the following appointments under the new charter; First assistant chief engineer, P. H. Shanghnessy; battalion chiefs in the order of their entering the department, M. J. Dolan, John Wills, William Waters, E. F. McKittrick, T. M. Fernandez, J. J Conlon and John McCluskey.

The latest great fire at Dawson City, the metropolis of the Klondide region, caused a loss of at least $400,000. Its cause is set down as a defective flue. The flames burned about 400 feet along the principal street, laying in ashes many of the most substantial structures, including many saloons, restaurants, the $75,000 opera house, grocery and general store, and a branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Very little of the contents of the buildings were saved. All of the burned buildings faced the Klondike river. Those on the opposite side of the river, all substantial business structures, escaped. One log block alone cost $50,000 a tew months before it was destroyed and there were isolated frame buildings burned whose several cost was even greater— among them three of the most handsomely furnished and heavily stocked saloons in the city.

The fire department of New Richmond, Ohio, has been reorganized. It will consist of two companies, as before, but there will be only ten, instead of thirty members, as of old There will be no chief, but the captain of each company will act in that capacity in his own district. The captain’s office will be honorary only, so far ns regards pay. Like each of the firemen, he will receive $5 per annum.

A supposed incendiary midnight fire destroyed the P. B. Fairchild business building near the Orange, N. J , station of the Lackawanna railroad. Loss, $10,000.

An early morning fire, which broke out in the PanAmerican hotel at Fredonia, spread to ten business buildings and caused the loss of two lives, one, a girl bookkeeper, the other, an eccentric elderly man. The damage done amounted to $300,000, of which onehalf is upon the power house and car barn of the Dunkirk & Fredonia Street Railroad company with all the cars. The car company was not insured, and the aggregate insurance on the burned property was only $50,000. The fire department’s equipment was inadequate to cope with a conflagration of such magnitude.

The outbreak of several queer fires is causing insurance compauies to withdraw from Greeuville, Tex.

At North Adams, Mass., thedriver of hose company No. 2 has provided ahomemade substituteforrubber tires, so as to prevent the wagon slipping during icy weather. He has taken a length of old rubber fire hose, slit it open lengthwise, and hound it over the tires of the wheels, with the rubber side out. This has proved as effective as it is cheap.

Fifteen members of the fire department of Kansas City, Mo., have formed a reading club, and now have a supply of monthly magazines and the St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago, New York, and Kansas City papers.

The relief fund of the fire department of Meriden, Conn., makes an encouraging showing. Since the fund has been established, the sum of $2,431.05 has been paid out from the treasury. Dwight Finnegan has been unanimously re-elected clerk, and Richard Shaw, treasurer of the fund.

A destructive fire in Teton county, in which is Great Fails. Mont., destroyed ten square miles of range and burned four ranches. The loss is estimated at many thousand dollars. The fire started at Richardson’s ranch by a spark from the chimney falling in the wood pile. A strong wind was blowing, and the fire swept on to the Halliday ranch, two miles away, burning all the buildings but the residence. A mile farther Knowles’ ranch was left a blackened ruin Clark Brothers’ two ranches were partially burned, when the wind died down, and thefire turned to the mountain, where it was put out.

Hereafter the fireman of Concord, N. H., will wear on the sleeves of theiruniform coatsgold stripes—one for every five years of service. Nearly all have been at least five years in the department.

Notices tiave been sent round through the Taunton, Mass., committee of the New England Insurance Exchange, that all who use electric lights in that city, must make certain changes in wiring buildings and in the protection of the meters within thirty days under pain of cancelations following.

In order to reach the house of one of the aldermen of Chicago who has an auxiliary fire alarm box in his residence, the men of engine company No. 23, had to make three turns over bad roads for one block and a half. It took them precisely ninety seconds to make the run.

M. L. Bridges, K. J Peterson. Henry Miller, and Rudolph Fische have been elected president, foreman, and assistant foreman of the Taylor, Tex., firedepartinent

The eighteenth annual convention of the State Firemen’s association of Nebraska, has just been held at Norfolk under the presidency of J. L Shiek, of Beatrice, who responded to Mayor Simpson’s address of welcome. A. C. Hull, of Fremont, was elected president; K. T. Hite, of Grand Island, and J W. Moist, of York, vice presidents; G. A. Miller of Kearney, secretary, and G. A Youngson, of Miuden, treasurer. Next convention to be at York.

Chief Paige, of Joliet, Ill., reports no fire alarm for one whole month. This has not occurred for seven years previously.

Clay Henninger has now been elected chief of the fire department of Chambersburg, Pa., four times running.

Middletown, Conn., has a new headquarters, now occupied by the O. V. Coffin hook and ladder company and the Douglas hose company. The apparatus is in the front of the building and the horses are stabled in the rear. Up stairs in front are the company parlors,opening off of which are rooms in which are beds placed for the permanent men. A hallway leads to the company rooms for social entertainments Off the hallway is the bath room and lavatory. In the rear of the hose room is the chief engineer’s room and the battery room. Over the stable is the sto e room for the hay and grain.

The Metropolitan fire brigade of London cost last year to maintain $1,169,300. In the first year of the existence of the London county conn_____il its cost was $806 830. During that year the insurance companies contributed $152,740; during the past year their contribution was $129,680.

It is not improbable that Niles, Mich, will instal a fire alarm in the near future.

Hartford, Conn., is moving slowly in the direction of establishing a fire patrol.

Harry J Bellis has been chosen as fire marshal of Annapolis, Md.

Fire Chief Weitner, of the fire department of Tiffin, Ohio, has been reelected.

Seven boys were arrested at Dubois, Pa., for wholesale stealing of the brass fixtures of the fire fighting apparatus of the town. They sold their plunder to junk men Nearly all the fire hose is destroyed, and only two nozzles remain in the town, which is thereby left in a bad fix in case of fire

The citizens of Des Moines, Ia., are in the van of a movement for the appointment of a State fire marshal.

At Atlantic City, N. J., Isaac Weisenthal is again chief engineer of the fire department, with Henry Williams and Charles M. Speidel as assistant engineers, for a term of three years.

John H. Barry has been elected chief of the volunteer fire department of Watertown. N. Y.

The position of assistant chief engineer has just been created in the fire department of Hoboken, N. J. Its first occupant is Michael Dunn, who had previously resigned as a fire commissioner.

Owing to a blaze occasioned by a hot journal in an air machine, used to blow shavings from a turning machine, the Erie, Pa., pail factory was almost totally destroyed by fire. Loss, $21,000; fully insured.

The good work of the firemen of New Brunswick, N. J , confined to the original building the fire which broke out in the factory of the Consolidated Fruit Jar company. At one time the factory of the Norfolk & New Brunswick Hosiery company, and the wall paper plant of the Janeway company, were seriously threatened. Loss, about $30,000.

The American Steel and Wire company, of Chicago, is now equipping its Waukegan, Ill, mill with the most modern fire protection, regardless of expense. The company is aiming at making this mill the best protected of any mill in the country.

Recorder J. M. Mitchell, of the fire department of Austin, Tex., writes thaton April 18 and 19, a volunteer State firemen’s tournament will be held under the auspices of the local fire department, at which cash prizes to the amount of $922 50 will be awarded. During the present year the department will purchase 2000 feet of hose, twelve fire extinguishers, a hose wagon, and, perhaps, a chemical engine. During the days of the tournament there will be an exhibition of fire department equipments.

The twenty-first annual ball of the Boston fire and protective departments will be held at Mechanics’ hall, Huntington avenue,on the evening of Thursday February 8. A concert will precede the ball, and the grand march will beat nine o’clock.

James O’Connor, of Boise, Idaho, has been elected chief of that city’s fire department

Yuma, Ariz, has a new chief of its fire department in the person of W. H. Buck.

J. R. Canterbury has been re-elected chief of the fire department of Minneapolis, Minn. He holds office for one year only.

Spontaneous combustion in the grinding room of the factory of the Racine Nail and Jack company, at Racine. Wis., caused its complete destruction and a loss of $20,000 on machinery and $13,000 on the building; insured for $22,000.

The loss on the burned wooden patterns of the pattern shop and crucible department of the Park Steel company’s Black Diamond steel works at Pittsburgh, Pa., was $6 000; on the crucibles, $3,000; on the building, $1,000; fully insured.

Fire of unknown origin gutted the building and destroyed the stock of Burrows & Company, manufacturers of wall paper, at 22 Hanover street. Baltimore, Md., causing a loss of $65,000 The adjoining property up to No. 18 on one side and No. 26 on the other, in which were dealers in dry and woolen goods, lost about $20,000, and other firms in the neighborhood probably sustained small losses from the dense smoke. Insurance, nearly full.

An early morning fire damaged $60,000 worth the five-story brick building, 36-40 Woodward street, Detroit, Mich., occupied by the Mutual Storage company. which lost $30,000, and others. The loss on the building was $10 000.

The burning of a large timber yard in Havana, Cuba—the most destructive fire known there in years —caused a loss of $30,000.

Through over-pressure of gas in the boiler, the Turkish bathroom of Albert Enty, at Bradford. Pa., was completely gutted by fire, and none of the furniture was saved.

The Shaker village of East Canterbury, N. H., was visited with a destructive fire, which entailed a loss of $20,000. It completely consumed the large barn and brick dwelling house of the Middle family, with all their contents as well as a tool houseand twenty-three head of cattle. This barn was one of the largest owned by the Shaker community, which believes insurance to be a “tempting of God.” Apparently its members regard fire protection in thesame light, and trust to an interposition of Providence to guard them against burning in both worlds.

Superior, Wis, is about to reorganize its fire department A volunteer department will probably be established at Allouez. It has been suggested to the council by the fire commissioners, that, if the men that turned out at fires were paid good wages for the time put in, it might work up enough interest so that the department would practise regularly and keep things in good shape.

Former Judge Gilhooly, one of those burned out in the $75,000 fire on New Year’s eve, at Elizabeth N. J., presented each of the eight fire companies of the city with $50. and Chief Cox himself with $25— a total of $425—for the good work they did in preventing the fire from spreading and so becoming a dangerous conflagration In consequence of this fire many prominent lawyers in Elizabeth lost their law libraries and valuable law papers, and the Union County and City courts were forced to adjourn.