[Special correspondence of FIRE AND WATHR]

Los ANGELES, CAL., December 22 1898.

At Los Angeles, Cal., the fireplugs are all painted white instead of the conventional red, so as to distinguish them from other plugs, not connected with the fire department. The reason for this is that on a dark night about eighteen months ago the fire alarm was turned in for a fire. A substitute driver who was on duty halted the engine in front of the plug, and connection was made without delay. The firemen thought the water looked very muddy; but, with the knowledge that mud will put blaze more effectually than water, they kept on at their work. The flames, however, became fiercer and fiercer, nor was the reason for this discovered until the engineer, being thirsty, began to drink from the small hose used for feeding water to the boiler when needed He spat the stuff out mighty quickly, and as quickly stopped his engine. It flashed upon him that he was in the midst of the city’s ‘oil district,” and oil, not water was being pumped upon the fire. And so it turned out. The green driver had not distinguished between theoilplug and the fireplug, the latter of which was someway farther down the block. The mistake was at once remedied and the fire speedily passed into history Hence the wh’te painted fireplugs of today.

The department here barely escaped being turned out early the other morning for a false alarm. About 3 o’clock a nr., a half-drunken loafer lounging round ‘he Natick hotel kept complaining of the cold. It was suggested that as he had no overcoat, he could keep himself warm by hiring a bed. To this he objected, on the plea that he was waiting for the next train for South Pasadena. He then asked what “that thing” was for, pointing to the fire alarm box, and was told its u>e. Soon he was seen fumbling with the key of the box, which was easily got at, as the glass inclosing it had nut been replaced since the last alarm of fire had been sent in from that point. The South Pasadena man had the door of the box open and was peering within. The clerk looking outside, exclaimed excitedly. ‘What are you up to, there ?”

“You told me this is the place to ring for fire,” answered the man.

“But there is no fire.” retorted the clerk, as he frantically rushed to the sidewalk to prevent, at all hazards, the hand now on the knob in the box from calling ont the sleeping firemen.

“It is so cold, I thought it would be agreeable to ring for fire,” said the orange-picker, who was then headed for South Pasadena by a policeman.

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