Fire Report of Coatesville, Pa.
In the report of Chief William H. Moore, of the volunteer fire department of Coatesville, Pa., covering the period of from January 1 to December 31, 1920, inclusive, the fact is brought out that while the valuation of the buildings was $1,183,800, and of contents, $2,172,615, making a total of $3,356,415, there was the remarkably low fire damage of $9,452. The total valuation of out – of – town buildings and contents was $190,490, and the fire damage in this case amounted to $75,840. The out-of-town fires are, of course, attended purely as an accommodation and, as a rule, the alarms are received too late for the department to be of service except to protect surrounding property. The department responded to 75 alarms during the year, using 2,618 gallons of chemicals, raising 1,199 feet of ladders ana stretching in with 9,850 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose. The distance of 487 miles was traveled with apparatus and the department was in service for 47 hours. Thirty-nine of the fires were extinguished with chemicals alone and fourteen with water and chemicals. The buildings in which the fires occurred were classified as follows: 42 frame, 18 brick and 6 stone dwellings, 3 steel buildings and also 2 automobile trucks.
The greatest number of fires, 13, was caused by defective chimneys and the next greatest number, 7, originated from sparks from chimneys. Other causes were fires from stoves and children playing with matches, 6 each; sparks from locomotives, 5; fires front oil stoves, 4; from sparks from rubbish, leaking gasoline, overheated stove pipes, electric wiring and gas jets, 3 each; fire crackers, 2; spontaneous combustion, 1, and unknown fires, 12.
The apparatus of Washington Company No. 1 consists of one Seagrave combination hose and chemical car, and one Metropolitan steamer with Seagrave tractor. This company has 1,400 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose. The Brandywine Fire Company No. 2 has one American-La France city service truck and one American-La France triple combination pumper, with 1,400 feet of hose. The West End Company No. 3 has one Rowe triple combination, with 700 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose. In concluding his report, Chief Moore says: “We will in a short time have alarm boxes Nos. 27 and 46 installed, which will aid greatly to enable us to receive an alarm from these districts without the delay of being called by telephone. And the purchase of new smoke masks will enable us to fight against smoke more safely, such as we encountered at the Taylor House fire, which was the worst in the city for the past few years. Being completely motorized, the three companies comprising the fire department are able to respond promptly and place their apparatus on the fire ground before the fire has a chance to attain great headway. Too much credit cannot be extended to the individual members of the three companies for their prompt and willing service to the city, all of which service is entirely free and in a great many cases entails considerable loss to the individual fireman by reason of damage to clothing, shoes, hats, etc., to say nothing of possible injury, sickness, or death. I wish to publicly thank the officers and members of the three companies for their hearty support during this period of my term as chief and also to extend thanks to the mayor and members of city council, of which fire commissioner is a member, for their financial and moral support during this time. I also wish to publicly thank the citizens of Coatesville for their co-operation and support to the fire department in fire prevention work in helping to make Coatesville fireproof.”
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