(From Our Special Correspondent.)
A few little happenings having occurred since may last letter, I will briefly jot you down the principal incidents, and trust you will find them worthy of space.
Quite recently our boys at headquarters were surprised by a fire call from the water-works pumping station, a mile and a half from the city, and while it was out of the limits, made the run with hose wagon and steamer No. 2, and were even more astonished upon arriving by finding one of the pump houses in flames, with no available stream (on account of lack of hose) to reach it from the water-works pump. Quickly taking in the situation, Captain Waggaman turned a chemical on the flames and extinguished it without aid from the steamer. To that time no provision for fire had been made at the works, nothing but a few feet of inch hose being available, and that of inferior quality.
During the year just gone, we have had an increase of about fifteen fires over 1891, with more than a corresponding decrease in loss. We firemen are vain enough to attribute this to our increased efficiency, due to having sober, coolheaded men, well captained, and not afraid to find the location of the fire before turning a flood of useless water at random.
The New Columbian hotel, a new four-story building, took fire on last Sunday afternoon, with the thermometer lourteen below zero, and it was only after a hard fight that the flames were controlled and, to the surprise of all, the loss only foots $748. During the erection of the hotel it was frequently visited by the firemen and the plans of construction closely noted and severely criticised. Without a brick partition in it above the first floor, with air spaces between walls and plastering, and with the most inviting places for fire near flues, we were not surprised at being called, and are as much surprised now as anybody that we saved it. Smoke was pouring from all the second and third-story windows when we arrived (it was only two squares away) and it was due entirely to hard work that it was kept from the attic.
Piece by piece we are equipping ourselves with needed accessories, the latest being a new Waldron controlling nozzle, our second, from the Rhode Island Coupling Company. The first proved so efficient and so plainly demonstrated its value at the hotel fire, we had no trouble in getting the second.
The city building project is still in the hands of our council committee, seven sets of plans having beetr presented, and are receiving consideration. Safe to say, either of the seven will place us ahead of anything in Indiana, no exceptions. A new hook and ladder rig and electric alarm will follow its erection, which will begin as soon as the weather al ows.
KOKOMO, IND., January 27.