FIRST REPORT OF FIRE COMMISSIONER SCANNELL.

FIRST REPORT OF FIRE COMMISSIONER SCANNELL.

FIRE COMMISSIONER SCANNELL’S report of the fire department of this city, just received, embracing as yet only the old district, and no dealing at all with Greater New York, states that during the year 1897 the total number of alarms sent in was 4,466—number of actual fires, 4,046. The amount of loss insured and uninsured was as follows: On buildings, $1,105,654; on contents, $2,291,238—total, $3,396,892; estimated insurance on buildings and vessels, $59,102,139; on contents, $27,597,200—total, $86,699,339. Estimated uninsured loss: On buildings and vessels, $307,398; on contents, $179.649—total, $487,048. Average loss at each fire. $839-57The total amount of water pumped was 34,383,798 gallons, of which 8,407,060 gallons was river water. The roll of merit for rescuing life continues to increase—the New York firemen have their San luan hill tr> breast many times in every year. Yet how few of their fellow citizens regard it! The apparatus was kept up to the topmost notch, and yet the balance of $144,380.51 out of the appropriation of $2,435,926 granted last year, shows that Commissioner Scanned knows how to administer the department efficiently and economically. The number of alarms turned in was 4,466—of which t86were unnecessary—ti8 from street boxes, fourteen by special dedepartment telegraph signals, eight veibally, and forty six bj* automatic telegraph; 234 were turned in for indications of fire—193 from street boxes, three by special department telegraph signals, thirty-seven verbally, and one by automatic telegraph; 4,046 were for actual fires of which 2,697 were from street boxes, thirteen by special department telegraph signals, 1,320, verbally, and sixteen by automatic telegraph. Of these fire alarms 184 were communicated by at. taches of the fire department; 221, by the police, 139 by district key-holders; four by citizens; 3,818 by all other means. Of the 4,046 fires in buildings, 3.743 were confined to the {joint of starting; 169, to the building; forty-one extended to other buildings; eighteen were in vessels; and seventy-five were in woods and other places. Fires extinguished without engine stream were 2.810 in nurnberjwith one engine stream,866; with two or three engine streams, 294; with more than thiee engine streams, seventy-six. Two thousand and ninety two fires occurred between 6 o’clock a. m. and 6 o’clock p. m.; and 1.954 between 6 o’clock p. m. and 6 o’clock a m. Of buildings destroyed there were ten built mainly of wood, and one of stone; in the case of too stone buildings the damage was considerable; of wooden buildings twenty were badly damaged. Five hundred and thirty seven stone buildings and seventeen wooden were only slightly damaged. The amount of water consumed was 34.383.798 gallons, of which 8,407,060 gallons was river water. T he es’imated loss, insured and uninsured, on buildings and vessels was $1,105,654; on contents, $2,281,238—10tal, $3,39^,892; estimated insurance on building and vessels, $59,102,139; on contents, $27,597,200—total, $86,699,339; estimated uninsured loss on buildings and vessels, $307,398; on contents, $179.649—total, $487,047; average loss per fire, $839 57; number of fires where the contented only were damaged, 614; where the loss was nominal to either structure or contents’, 1,639 The apparatus consists of three fireboats’ twenty steam engines first-size,thirty-five, second-size,twentythree, third-size, fifteen, fourth-size, two fifth-size; thirty-seven four-wheeled hose tender—one double-reel for boat; twenty two-wheeled ditto; fifty five four-wheeled hose wagons; five water towers; six chemical fire engines; two combination chemical engine and hose wagons; twenty-five fuel wagons; one wrecking truck; two hand engines; eight hose jumpers; twentyfive chief of battalion wagons; one portable water tank; fortythree hook and ladder trucks, of which five are turn-table,with extension ladder, first-size, one ditto, second-size; thirty-two roller-frame, with extension ladder, of which eighteen, nine, and four are first, second, and third-size, respectively; two goose-neck,without extension ladder; and four two-wheel hand trucks. There were eleven deaths in the uniformed rank, of whom two were suffocated at fires and one was killed by the overturning of his engine upon him while striving to avoid running over a foot passenger. Thirteen were retired from all service from disability; six, after twenty years’ service. Five of those relieved from service at fires died, and six of those relieved from all service. Four firemen were decorated with medals, of whom three were so honored for saving life at great personal risk, and one,Foreman Charles H.Perly, engine company No. 6, received the Stephenson medal for being the most deserving company commander during the year. The following new sites were purchased during the year: On the north side of Maiden Lane, near l’earl and Fletcher streets, twenty-five feet by seventy-five feet; cost, $47,800; on the north side of Great Jones street, between Lafayette place and the Bowery, forty-five feet by ninety feet; cost, $60,828.60. New sites were also appl ed for, and condemnation proceedings to acquire them begun, as follows: On northerly side of Seventy-fifth street and the southerly side of Seventy-sixth street,between Amsterdam avenue and the Boulevard. twenty-five feet by 204 feet; on the north side of Main street, between Arnow place and Eastchester road, Westchester, fifty feet by ninety-five feet; on the north side of Schofield avenue, east of Main street, fifty feet by 118 feet; seven and one-half inches—City Island; on the south side of Broome street, betwceen North and Elizabeth streets, twenty-three feet, seven inches by 103 feet, six inches; on the north side of Thames street, near Temple street, twenty-five feet by fifty feet, situated in the rear of the present quarters of engine No. 6. to make room for enlargement of engine house; on the north side of West Thirty-third street,near Sixth avenue, fifty by 100 feet. Contracts were signed and engine houses are in process of construction as follows: At No. 33 West Fortythird street,contract price,$23,449 on south side of One Hundred and Fortieth street, west of Amsterdam avenue; contract price, $21,577; southside of One Hundred and Seventieth street east of Audubon avenue, contract price,$22,000; on east side of Forest avenue,north of One Hundred andSixtieth street, contract price, $15,878; on east side of Ogden avenue, north of Devoe street, contract price,$17,500; on north side of Grand avenue, East Two Hundred and Third street, near Katonah avenue, contract price, $15,686—in every case the architects’ fees (five per cent) are not included in contract prices. A new building, to be used as a storehouse for the fireboat New Yorker was put up. The number of horses on hand on Deccember 31, 1897, was 479. Several miles of old fire alarm telegraph wire were taken down and restrung with new,and sixty miles of additional wire was strung in repairs and extensions of circuits. The fire alarm boxes located in the neighborhood of Williamsbridge and Woodlawn, on the west side of the Bronx river, and to which the two engine companies on the east side of the Bronx river (at Williamsbridge and Wakefield answer), fitted with duplicate transmitting devices.and supplied with an independent circuit connecting to those two companies, to whom those signals are transmitted direct from those boxes simultaneously with their transmission to, and receipt at the Central office. The local fire alarm circuits in the Williamsbridge and Wakefield district were removed from the electric light poles where they were placed previous to the annexation, and placed upon the poles of the New York Telephone Company; and their services extended to. and connected with thirteen additional fire alarm boxes. The local circuit which was constructed last year between West Farms and Westchester and Unionport was extended to City Island, and connected with thirteen additional fire alarm boxes, six of which are on City Island. Sixty-two fire alarm signal boxes of improved pattern were purchased, and 200 of the old boxes (in service) were temporarily removed and altered to correspond with those of the improved pattern, and replaced in service with those of the improved pattern, in the northern part of the city (including the newly annexed district). Sixtyone boxes were added to the system, and ten additional locations selected to be supplied with boxes. The improvements to the boxes above mentioned include among others, a device for protecting them from high-tension currents employed by the lighting and trolley companies, which have heretofore given much trouble to the fire alarm system, in consequence of contact between wires of the two systems, especially during storms. The additions to the underground system consist of thirteen and seven-eighth miles of duct, 196 services boxes,22i flush boxes, 112 combination signal and lampposts, twenty-four miles of cable, 169 and eight-tenths miles of conductor—making 1,134 miles of conductors,connecting with[642 fire alarm boxes, (100 of which are located in the public schools), seventy-eight department apparatus houses, four homes and hospitals, eight department officials, one department of public works, four patrol houses, and eleven miscellaneous buildings (newspaper offices; etc.) The total number of stations from which fire alarms may be transmitted is 2,470, as follows: Regular city boxes, 1,134; Special Fire Alarm Signal Company, ninety-nine; Manhattan Fire Alarm Company, fifty-two; Automatic Signal and Sprinkler Company, 895; Thermostatic Signal Company, seventy-four; Pneumatic Fire Alarm Company, 216. Up to December 31, 1897, all of the fire alarm boxes south of One Hundred and Thirtieth street, including those on Blackwell’s Island, and a few scattering ones north of One Hundred and Thirtieth street, were equipped with keyless doors—total, 716. Under the laws regulating the storage of combustibles, explosive materials, etc., 3,878 special surveys of premises as to their fitness for such purposes were made, and 1,438 samples of kerosene oil were co lected and tested. For licenses and permits for such sales and storage $11,858.50 was collected, of which $2,335 was for retail fireworks permits at $5 each;$340 for seventeen wholesale fireworks permits at $20 each; $,3,222 for 1,611 special permits issued at $2 each; $13.50 for twentyseven permits, at $0.50 each,to kindle fires in the streets. For penalties was gathered in the sum of $1,402.33, of which $100 was for two hoistways left open at $50 each.

FIRE COMMISSIONER SCANNELL.

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