FIRE STREAMS FROM STREET CARS.
F. A. W. DAVIS, vice-president and treasurer of the Indianapolis Water company, writes to FIRE AND WATER that he has suggested to the chief of the fire department of Indianapolis the idea of putting an engine and pumps on a car, and letting the switch run into the enginehouse, so that the car, with the engine and pumps on it, should run out on the streetcar rails by means of a trolley. The water for the engine would be taken from our fire hydrants by the number of hose that might be necessary. The car, with its machinery, would be confined to the streets upon which the streetcar company had its rails. There would be no more interference with traffic than there is at the present time. I think that a three-inch stream would put out almost any fire that can occur in any city, if it is forced under the same pressure that is used on fireboats. I am hoping that it is possible for us to find some builder who has some secondhand machinery that he would be willing to experiment with, if part of the cost were paid. There is nothing private about this suggestion, and you will be at liberty to comment on it, favorably or unfavorably. This I do know—that there has been no advance in fighting fires for many years, except some little improvement in fire engines, amounting to very little, and it is time that some improved methods be brought about.
The plan proposed above by Mr. Davis is not only full of possibilities, but has been already carried out, or will soon be carried ont, and the method amplified at Columbus, Ohio. We believe it is also in operation in Massachusetts, or Rhode Island, and in Pennsylvania. There seems no reason why the trolley lines should not be so utilized at Indianapolis, as well as in other cities where water towers are not available. In country districts, also, where the fire is on, or sufficiently near a trolley line system, much time and labor might bo saved by the employment of a car fitted up as proposed above.