Fires in New Orleans
During the past year there were 556 actual fires in New Orleans, La. Five hundred and ninetynine alarms were turned in, of which 25 were unnecessary and 18 false. Of the actual fires 344 were in dwellings, 5 in grocery stores, one in a combined grocery and barroom, 6 in barrooms —the number in the last case being remarkably small. One fire, by the irony of fate, was an asbestos warehouse; another in a street car; another in a Roman Catholic church; 2 in moving picture shows; 4 in “pressing clubs.” As to the causes of fires: Defective flues head the list with 39; cigarettes and hot ashes come next with 14 apiece; burning trash, gasoline explosions, hot coals, 6 each. The origin of 288 fires was unknown, but one blaze was distinctly traceable to a monkey upsetting an oil can. The fire loss was comparatively light—$420,216, as against $660,414 in the preceding year—in itself not heavy. Under ordinary conditions the fire loss should decrease during the present year, as the facilities for protection are being considerably added to. Five new engine houses have been built and equipped. Of the new companies 3 (hose) have auto apparatus, 2 are engine companies, one hose, one truck. In addition the Scagrave company of Columbus, O., is converting an aerial truck into one that is motor-driven. Plans have been completed for. and construction will soon be begun, on a new central fire station on Decatur street, which will house 7 compan’es and will afford ample room for their apparatus, as well as for the offices of the fire commissioners and chief and a drill tower—the first to be erected in New Orleans.