GREAT FIRES IN DECEMBER.
WE make no apology for presenting the following record of large fires that occurred in December, which we clip from the Commercial Bulletin. That the Firemen are interested in these monthly records is proven by the numerous letters we receive regarding them, and the corrections that flow in when a place is charged with a greater loss than actually occurred. As regards its fire record, the year 1882 went out as it came in—with a heavy score to the discredit of our people as a care-taking nation. January was a fiery month to the amount of over $10,000,000, and December has compelled us to note another $10,000,000 and more destroyed in a single month. The lowest estimate we can make of the ravage of fire in this country and Canada during December puts the figure at $10,500,000, which would give $90,250,000 as the aggregate fire wastage of 1882.
A look through our December files furnishes the following details respecting the fire record of the month. Of fires where the loss was $10,000 and upwards we have recorded no less than 183. Of these 183 fires, 73 were such as destroyed between $10,000 and $20,000 worth of property; 34 between $20,000 and $30,000; 33 between $30,000 and $50,000; 14 between $50,000 and $75,000 ; 9 between $75,000 and $100,000; 11 between $100,000 and $200,000; 7 between $200,000 and $500,000, and 2 where the loss was more than $500,000. Below we give our usual monthly record of these fires of $ to,000 and upwards:
The 20 large fires of December—where the loss was $100,000 and upwards—were these: Harrisville, N. H., $100,000 Philadelphia, $130,000; Houston, Texas, $400,000; East Saginaw, Mich., $175,000; Gibsonton Mills, Pa., $400,000; New York, $100,000; Ferry Landing, La., $130,000; Hickman, Ky., $125,000; Bay Ridge, L. I., $r 15,000; Toledo, Ohio, $600,000; Newport, Ark., $250,000; Pembroke, Ontario, $100,000; St. Louis, $144,000; Philadelphia, $200,000; Buffalo, N. Y., $300,000 ; Macon, Ga., $110,000; North Attleboro’, Mass., $100,000; Prescott, Ark., $100,000; Lodi, N. J., $200,000; Milwaukee, $600,000.
The 183 fires composing the above list foot up an aggregate of $8,900,000 of reported loss, upon which something like $6,000,000 has been paid (and lost) by the insurance companies. Beyond question, the December fires of less than $10,000 and those which have escaped record will add at least $1,600,000 to the $8,900,000 and so make the aggregate for December $10,500,000, which, as we have said, has been equaled only by January in 1882. In fact, there have been but two other months—October, 1881, and January, 1879—since July, 1877, in which anything like such fire waste has occurred in a single month.
Such figures as these are full of moralizing material; but they should also be suggestive and forceful enough to justify our letting the reader do his own moralizing, without the incumbrance of our help.