GREENVILLE AND ITS FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Although Greenville, N. C., is a small city, with a fire area of only 640 acres and a population, according to the last United States census, of but 2 265 persons, yet its authorities have been wise enough to equip it with a fire department large enough for a city of more than twice its size. Like most small towns of its class, it has many wooden buildings, though some of its principal mercantile buildings are of brick; hence, arises the necessity for taking every precaution against fire, such as the prohibition of wooden roofs and the adoption of an ordinance for regulating the storage and sale of fireworks and combustibles. The fire department is equipped as follows: Steamer; hook and ladder truck; aerial truck; hose wagon; hose carriage; 2.300 feet of cotton, rubber-lined hose (800 feet inferior), with three horses in service. The fire alarm is bell. The value of the equipment is $7,000. The department is full paid. The water supply is wells and the river. As no waterworks system is installed, no fire hydrants are set—a condition which, in spite of the efficient fire department, causes the city to have only a third-class rating from the standpoint of the insurance people. The chief of the department is R. J. Rowley: the assistant chief, O. Mills Goodlet ; secretary, K. K. Simpson; foreman, Robert J. Ligon. Chief R. J. Rowley was elected chief in November, 1901, and is the first chief since the change from a volunteer to a paid force. He is justly proud of his department, and since its establishment the fire loss has been reduced to a minimum—a fact which proves the superiorityof trained firefighters over volunteers. The Greenville department was the. second in the State to be placed on a full paid basis.
During an early morning fire in a San Francisco hotel five firemen distinguished themselves by daring rescues and received a special vote of thanks from the fire commissioners. The rescue by Claude Brownell. stoker of engine No. 17. and Coleman, of truck No. 1. was particularly commended by Acting Chief Dougherty as the “greatest act of coolness [he] ever w-itnessed.” Brownell, seeing the elevator boy of the hotel perched on the ledge of the sixthslorv window, seized a rope from his engine and made his way up to the roof, then over a hot tin surface, the wooden supports of which had been burned away, to a point from which he could throw a rope to the boy.