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.