FIRE REPORT OF NEW BRUNSWICK
Chief Harry J. Francis, of New Brunswick, N. J., in his annual report, for the year ending December 31, 1915, to Director of Public Safety Edward J. Houghton and the Board of Commissioners, states as follows: Manual Force: 1 chief of department, 1 assistant chief of department, 6 captains, 6 engineers, 22 firemen. Total 36.
No. 1 Engine Co.—Waterous triple combination ; capacity of pump, 700 gallons; with 40gallon chemical tank. No. 3 Engine Co.;—2nd size Metropolitan steam fire engine. Capacity of pump, 700 gallons; Cross front drive tractor attached. No. 4 Engine Co.—3rd size Clapp & Jones steam fire engine. Capacity of pump, 600 gallons; , Cross front drive tractor attached. No. 1 Truck Co.—Robinson 55-foot city service truck.
No. 2 Engine Co.—4th size Metropolitan steam fire engine. Capacity of pump, 500 gallons; hose wagon. No. 3 Engine Co.—Combination chemical and hose wagon. Engine Co. No. 4.—Combination chemical and hose wagon. No. 5 Engine Co.—3rd size American-La France steam fire engine. Capacity of pump, 600 gallons; reel hose carriage. In reserve: One 3rd size AmericanLa France steam fire engine. Capacity of pump, 600 gallons; one 3rd size Silsby steam fire engine, rotary pump. Capacity of pump, 600 gallons; in service in Highland Park; one Seagrae city service truck. All of the above apparatus are in good condition, except hose wagon of Engine Co. No. 2 which, in my judgment, should be replaced with a motor driven apparatus.
There is at present in use in the department 3 750 feet of 2j4-inch cotton rubber lined hose 2⅛00 feet of 2j4-inch rubber hose, 1,100 feet ot 2J4-inch cotton rubber lined hose.
It is gratifying to see that improvements arccontemplated in the water department for greater water pressure, which will provide better facilities for the department in the outlying districts, especially at St. Peter’s Hospital, Columbia Hall Wells Hospital and the Children s Home and other districts where large industries arc being located.
Number of Fires.
The number of alarms was 158; number of fires in brick buildings, 28; number of fires in frame buildings, 97; number of fires other than buildings, 33. The value of property involved in fires was : Buildings, $768,100; contents, $93,080; total, $861,180. Total insurance thereon: Buildings, $271,823; contents, $93,080; total, $364,903. Total insurance loss: Buildings, $6,914.98; contents, $6,837.41; total, $13,752.39. The classification of alarms during 1915 was: hirst alarms 69; second alarms, 2; general alarms, 0; still alarms, 88; false alarms, 3; pulmotor calls, 3; outside of city, 3. The total number of feet of ladders used was 734 and the amount of chemical used was 2,016 gallons. The total number of feet of hose laid was 30,600.
During the past year the department has made inspections of public and private properties; by these inspections the department is trying to impress upon the citizens the necessity of fire prevention by their removing all rubbish and other hazardous conditions, which will prevent fires and at the same time help to keep the city clean. It also acquaints the firemen with the layout of all buildings, so that in case of a fire, in any of those buildings, it is easier to control and subdue the flames, which otherwise might get beyond control and extend to adjoining property.
Maintenance of Motor Apparatus.
Gasoline, $108.11; motor oil, $18; grease, $9; repairs, $230.24. It would necessitate the using of 10 horses to draw the motor apparatus that is now in the department, and the cost of 10 horses w-ould amount to $1,724.78, comparing this with the cost of the motor apparatus which is $365.35, the difference in the cost of motor and horsedrawn apparatus is $1,359.43. So you can readily see what the saving to the city would be eacii year if all the apparatus were motorized. 1 would recommend that a new motor combination chemical and hose wagon be purchased, also a chassis for No. 3 and No. 4 hose wagon, which if motorized would do away with the upkeep of seven horses.
Construction of Buildings.
During the past year the attention of this department has been called in regards to the construction of buildings in our city, and 1 am convinced that an entire new building code is an absolute necessity. Buildings have been erected in which a fire once getting a good start it would be impossible to prevent the total destruction of such building and probably be the cause of a serious conflagration. The Building Inspector should have absolute power to compel owners and builders to make safe, both in old as well as new buildings, all openings such as elevator shafts, open courts and all other openings that would help spread the flames, also that all roofs should be covered with tin, slate or other fireproof material, and that wood shingles be entirely prohibited for roof coverings, also that a set of plans for all public buildings be submitted to the chief of the fire department for his approval.
Chief Francis makes recommendations as follows : As stated in the first part of this report, the manual force of the department consists of 35 men including officers, and while up to the present time this small number of men have proved themselves equal to every emergency to which they have been called, in my opinion the force is inadequate for this city with all its large industries and especially for a city mostly of wooden construction. At no fire do we have our full force of 35 men; this is caused by vacations, meal hours and regular days off, I would, therefore, recommend to your Honorable Board of Commissioners that provision be made in your next appropriation for six additional firemen, all appointments to be made on three months’ probation. At the present time we have 3,750 feet of cotton rubber lined hose and 2,200 feet of rubber hose in good condition and 1,100 feet in poor condition. 1 would recommend that 2,500 feet of hose be purchased, so as to have an extra change for each company. During the year the water department has placed hydrants in different parts of the city, but there is room for many more especially in the outlying districts, where industries are located. I would also recommend that hydrants be installed as called for in my recommendations to the Board of Fire Commissioners on January 30, 1915. During the past year no extensions have been made to the fire limits. 1 therefore recommend that the fire limits be extended from the point beginning at the corner of Oliver and George streets, through George street to Bishop street, to Burnet street, to steamboat dock and to include all intersecting streets therein. I would also recommend that two Draeger helmets be purchased for the department to enable the men to go in safety through dense smoke, to rescue people who may be trapped by fire; also it would enable the firemen to successfully combat a cellar fire where chemicals are stored and protect them from poisonous gases. During the year the members of the department have received instructions in the handling of hose, cellar pipes, distributers and the different tools of the department. These instructions are held at No. 5 Station, but this station is inadequate for the purpose, there being no way for drilling the men in the use of pompier Indices and life rope work. I would recommend that a training tower be constructed for the use of the department in these instructions. I would recommend that all schools, hospitals and factories have auxiliary alarm boxes installed to he connected to our fire alarm system. 1 would recommend an ordinance, regulating the storage of gasoline, kerosene, matches and all other combustibles, making it compulsory for the owner and tenant of buildings, where combustibles are stored, or sold, to have a permit from the Department of Public Safety and to be under the jurisdiction of the fire department. I would also recommend the purchase of a modern life net; also an automobile for the chief of department