GREATER NEW YORK FIRE NOTES.

GREATER NEW YORK FIRE NOTES.

A curtain in the Hippodrome, Manhattan, caught fire during an evening performance from a bursting electric light globe, caused by a short circuit, and Fireman Armbruster, who is detailed at the house, was unable to cope with the blaze alone. He summoned assistance from engine company 65, to which call Firemen Mergel answered. The two extinguished the blaze with reversible hand-extinguishers, and, though the entire affair took place in full view of the audience, there was no excitement among the people. Apparently most of them thought it a part of the spectacle. With their hats stuffed in their mouths, two workmen in the Pennsylvania tunnel entered a smoke-tilled building at No. 31 West Thirty-third street, Manhattan, and carried out two young women early in the morning. In the basement of the building is the tea-shop known as “At the Sign of the Green Tea Pot.” The fire started in the tea-room, and was confined to it, with a loss of $3,000. The two tnen had hard work to grope their way through the smoke, but could hear the girls’ voices. These guided them, and they at last found the damsels and carried them down, but were nearly unconscious when they reached the street, where they collapsed. Meanwhile, the firemen of truck No. 24 heard of a man and woman being caught on the third floor. A single length of ladder was run up to the roof of two large bay windows, and another was raised from there; but it was so far from the windows of the third floor that it was impossible for a fireman to get from the ladder into the bay window of the apartment where the man and his wife lived. Then, while four firemen, standing on the roof of the bay windows, held a single length of ladder in such a position that the top rested on the window-sill. Fireman Kcrwin scaled the ladder, supported only by his four companions, and reached the desired apartment. Kerwin made a thorough search of the apartment, but without finding any trace of the two. The pair had gone tip through the building to the roof, and down through the adjoining house. F.arly iti the morning of December 20 flames started a fire in the kitchen of the new Grand hotel. Broadway and Thirty-first street, Manhattan, and made their way through the ceiling into the maids’ dining-room on the floor above. Three other West Side fires started at short intervals, keeping Battalion Chief Howe and his men busy during the morning hours. One was in a five-story tenement house at 514 West Forty-eighth street, where there was more smoke than fire and more scare than loss. The blaze originated in the coal and wood bins in the basement, and was soon put out A second fire summoned the same men as they were going back to their stations. This time it was on the second floor of 510 West Thirty sixth htreet. The woman who lived in the rooms was out. Her trunk was found broken open and robbed of its contents. The fire was a small one. Battalion Chief Howe had just reached his headquarters after these three fires when he was called to a fourth at 056 Eighth avenue, in the basement of a building under a Postal telegraph office. A messenger-boy was reading a “thriller.” when he discovered the smoke. He turned in an alarm. The blaze was in some wood stored in the cellar and was very hard to get at. Before it could be reached a hole had to be ripped through the floor of the office in the rear -As a mark of appreciation of the good work done by the firemen the other night at the fire in the Huyler chocolate factory, the firm sent to headquarters a check for $soo to be covered in to the Pension fund. The men thoroughly deserved the recognition of their pluck and skill, and it is greatlv to he wished that others similarly conditioned with the Huyler company would do likewise when the occasion arises.—The Rrooklvn division of the city’s fire department stands in need of two things—good hose and megaphones. This was shown recently while the men were at work in the Franklin building, putting out a fire on the seventh floor, w’hen eight lines of hose were reported to have burst. Next to the sight of the fountains playing above the runt tired tubes, the sorriest spectacle was presented by the firemen on the seventh floor trying to make those in the street comprehend their wishes. In the noise of the street their words were unintelligible. “Oh for a megaolmne!” said one of the firemen.The Brooklyn men never even dreamed of the existence of the musty order book or the order for summoning the “sapper and miner” corps. Yet the corps was reorganised in J8QQ and Chief (now Deputy Commissioner) Bonner signed the order, which was intended to make this body of 136 assistant foremen a formidable force. But not since that day has the battalion had a single excuse for being needed or even called out for instruction. As in Manhattan, the function of this battalion, which has representatives in every fire company and enginehouse in the borough, is to fight fires with explosives. When the engines nrove helpless, and, if block after block of city buildings should be eaten away by the flames, then it is the duty of the fire chief to send in the call for the “miners and sappers” division to wreck, with dynamite or nitroglycerin, nearby buildings, in order to create an open space. Present indications (it is thought) seem to point to a revivification of the corps’ work. The force is represented in all of Brooklyn’s ninety fire companies by at least one assistant foreman. In many cases where a hook and ladder truck is connected with the company there may he two or three. The whole number is divided into four corps, which form but a part of the battalion for all of New York city. Brooklyn’s corps is designated by the letters E, F, G and H.

GREATER NEW YORK FIRE NOTES.

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GREATER NEW YORK FIRE NOTES.

It seems neither impossible nor improbable that the revised building code for New York city will not pass this year. Its further consideration will be put off till after January 1, when the aldermen will be more of one political stripe than they are at present. It may then be rejected altogether and a new commissioner and a new superintendent of buildings appointed. The regulations that seem to give most trouble are those covering the construction of theatres, not because they will make them less protected against fire, but because they will make the building of theatres more attractive financially and will thereby compete more successfully with those of old-time construction, whose owners and managers wield considerable political power.—The civil service commission seems to feel badly because of the awarding of medals to firemen who distinguished themselves by heroic rescues at fires and would fain see the practice abolished. Honorable mention is an equal offence to that illustrious body, which dubs the successful medalists only “alleged heroic candidates.” The president of the commission declared in so many words that it had been charged that medals had often been awarded because of favoritism. He did not think it worth his while, however, to specify instances of such favoritism, nor did he impugn the truth of the records of the men who have been the recipients of such honors. His real reason for opposing the system in vogue may supposedly be set down to his dislike to see a man who is not such a superfine scholar, gcographist, historian, scientist, linguist or astronomer as the civil service would have every candidate to be (even though a poor fireman) owe any of his marks for promotion to his former record for heroism. Chief Croker does not object to the award of the medals, but (if rightly quoted) would not have the fact of a man’s being a medalist enter into the question of his promotion. He said he knew of cases (he did not give any names), where medals had been given for political purposes to secure preferment and added that the “men would put out as many fires if they got no medals.” So they might and would, if they had only the haziest notions about mathematics or English grammar. Fire Commissioner Lantry took the right line when he spoke heartily in favor of medals. He said he was in favor of immediate promotions for men who displayed notable acts of bravery. Chief Croker explained then that, if promotions could be made instantly, he would favor that, also. He said that the acts of political favoritism he had referred to had occurred in other administrations. Which these were he did not say. The unfortunate impression conveyed by the discussion was that (as a police lieutenant said) “nationality and creed count for everything in getting medals and promotion,” and that some of the medal men in the department are “mere political heroes.”— Many dangerous and inflammable metal polishes are still placed upon the market, in spite—really in defiance of the act of the legislature which went into effect on November 2, forbidding these sales and those of insect-powder containing more than forty per cent, benzine—one of the most dangerous explosives in common use. Fire Commissioner Lantry, through Deputy Commissioner Hugh Bonner, has requested every flat-dweller or occupant of a house to report at once to the fire department of the presence of any liquid metal polish or cleanser which is in any way suspected of containing explosive ingredients in excess of the legal requirements. Deputy Commissioner Bonner says tnat New Yorkers have no conception of the tremendous amount of explosives which have been stored in buildings in the city under the guise of metal polish and similar products. A gallon-can of any one of a dozen metal polishes sold before the law was passed contains enough explosive to blow up an ordinary fivestory building. Some of the big office buildings had enough of this stuff in their storerooms to wreck the whole lower end of the city. The evil may have been somewhat abated. It is by no means extinct. It is a question if the snake is even scotched.—Another fire fatal to human and animal life took place on Friday, the thirteenth (a day and number of ill omen), at 31 East Ninth street, Manhattan. A stable and the adjoining house were damaged. The loss was only $2,500. The dead man lived in the house behind the stable. The truckman, who ran the stable, and his wife were overcome by smoke and hurried to St. Vincent’s hospital. Nine horses were burned to death. The floor of the house, which was one-story and of brick, was used as a stable. In front was a frame wagonhouse. The whole building was ablaze before the department arrived, and the police who ought to have been awake at the time made no sign till a man who was passing notified one of them, and then he turned in an alarm. They also told the department that there was no one in the building. It was not till the firemen, who believed them and did not try any rescue work, had been throwing water on the flames for some time that one of the police thought there was some one in the rear building, on which Capt. Shannon and his men dashed through the flames and on the second floor found the unconscious truckman and his wife, whom the latter had evidently been trying to rescue. The dead body of the stableman was next found in a deep closet, into which in his confusion he had crawled and had been suffocated. The nine horses were burned alive. It was not to be wondered at that Chief Croker, Battalion Chief Shay and the firemen arraigned the conduct of the police in the most forcible terms.—Soon may be looked for a Bowery holocaust, if many buildings resemble one that was recently discovered by an insurance agent. Straw covered the floor at the entrance door; straw covered the two flights of stairs leading to above; straw was packed into one of the rooms with the window left open. A lighted match or a lighted cigarette thrown from the car window or a stub of a cigar thrown into the hallways means a heavy fire loss. This looks as if inspection wer lax in that section of Manhattan.—Brooklyn has now a new truckhouse of brick, limestone and terra cotta, with steel frames. It is 30 ft. wide by 80 deep, and, though only three stories high, its height is nearly that of a four-story house. Two more will soon be completed. The cost of each is between $45,000 and $50,000. They are up-todate in every way so far as regards the comfort and health of men and horses

Sterilisation of Water by Electricity.