LATEST FIRE DEPARTMENT ITEMS

LATEST FIRE DEPARTMENT ITEMS

The estimated losses by fire in the United States and Canada, reported for the week ending May 8, amounted to $2,431,000.

Davenport, Ia., has purchased a Buick car for use by the chief.

Lee Stewart has been appointed chief of the Keota, Ia., fire department.

The fire department of Pittsfield, Ill., has elected William Johnson chief.

John Mueller has been chosen chief of the Billings, Mont., fire department.

Williamsport, Pa., has re-elected J. P. Shanahan chief of the local fire department.

The civil service law under which members of the Alton, Ill., lire department is appointed will be attacked by the new city administration.

The Fountain Hose Company, of South Bethlehem, Pa., has received a new steamer from the Ahrens-Pox Fire Engine Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The newly appointed officers of the Herkimer, N. Y., fire department are Harry Vincent, chief; W. F. Metzger, first assistant chief, and William Greiner, second assistant.

The International Power Company, Providence, R. I., has been awarded a contract by the city of Tacoma, Wash., for furnishing a new third size Amoskeag steam fire engine.

Fire Marshal Sullivan, of Louisiana, has been called to Alexandria by Chief r. Neff to investigate numerous incendiary fires which have occurred during the past few weeks.

Coroners from Eastern and Middle Western states will hold a convention at Milwaukee, Wis., during May for the purpose of securing uniform legislation in regard to protection against fire and industrial accidents.

The Jackson (Miss.) Street Railway Company has served official notice on the members of the local fire department that hereafter they must pay fare just as other people do. Heretofore they have been carried free.

Chief Geo. F. Fonda, for thirty years head of the fire department of Boulder, Colo., has failed reappointment to that position. Change of city administration is said to be the cause. Assistant Chief Win. W. McAllister has been given the berth.

John C. Bebb, who has the distinction of being the chief longest at the head of any fire department in Montana, has been re-elected to that position in Lewiston. The department is composed of forty members and is equipped with the most up-to-date apparatus.

Mayor-elect Parks, of Aberdeen, Wash., favors a plan to have the chief of police also run the fire department and consolidation of the offices of water superintendent and city engineer. He will name F. R. Archer chief of police and C. W. Ewart city engineer.

The western office of F. A. Wilkinson, general manager of the Nott Fire Engine Company, has been changed to 20 Wall street, room 63, New York City, Telephone, Hanover 6442. The manager expects that his many friends will visit him at his quarters, where they will be gladly welcomed.

As a result of the new state law which places the fire departments under control of police and fire commissions, the Watertown, Wis., fire department, which has been considered one of the best volunteer companies in the state, has voted to disband. It has given the city thirty days’ notice and a reorganization will result. A similar happening has occurred at Stoughton.

The additions and improvements to the Gamewell fire alarm system at San Antonio, Tex., provided for in the budget adopted in June, 1010, at a cost of $ 11,300, are well under way under the direction of O. P. Crocker, of Cincinnati, general agent of the Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company for the Southern district, and C. F. Maiden, of New York, a superintendent for the district.

A fire occurred in a moving picture outfit in the Lyric Theater in New Orleans a few days since, caused by the operator stumbling and falling against the film, bringing it in contact with the light of the apparatus. Being in a fireproot booth, the damage was comparatively slight, but shows the necessity of careful handling of these dangerous exhibitions and the absolute necessity of having all moving picture apparatus installed in entire compliance with underwriters’ requirements.

A movement has been started by a St. Louis, Mo., business club for the establishment and maintenance of fire drills in St. Louis mercantile and industrial establishments in which forty or more persons are employed, the better to insure the escape of the imprisoned workers in time of fire. It has been suggested that the legislature be appealed to, and that an effort be made to have an ordinance passed requiring such fire drills. The matter was referred to the legislative committee.

Using a fireman in place of a dummy is the method which has been adopted by Fire Chief R. F. McLaughlin, of the Norfolk, Va., department, in practising his men in the use of fire ladders and life nets. A fireman climbs up in the hose tower at headquarters until he reaches a distance equal in height to the third story ot an ordinary building. He stands in the window, and another fireman, using a scaling ladder, goes to the rescue. Grabbing the man out of the winnow in his arms, the fire-fighter descends in the life rope to the net below.

A plan of gradual improvement in the fire alarm of Sioux City, la., has been begun by R. S. Whitley, superintendent of public safety, which in a few years will result in the perfection of the system. Five new alarm boxes are to be added yearly to the present supply. There are now forty public fire alarm boxes in the city and about the same number are used in factories and private buildings, where they are connected with the public alarm system. This number is about 20 per cent, of what is required to give Sioux City proper protection.

J. J. Strapp has been re-elected chief engineer of the fire department at St. Paul, Minn., for the ensuing two years by the unanimous vote of the fire board recently. Other department officers re-elected for the same period are as follows: First assistant chief, Henry Devlin; second assistant chief, William Rodecker; third assistant chief, Miles McNally; assistant electric wire inspector, Forest D. Varnam. The salaries of all these positions will remain the same, although an effort was made by Commissioner F’reeman to have the chief’s salary raised from $3,GOO to $4,000 annually.

The St. Louis (Mo.) Times says: “Announcement of the suspension of nine members of the East St. Louis fire department Friday revealed that a total of sixteen firemen have been separated from the department payroll since a count of the ballots at the recent election showed that Charles S. Lambert had been elected Mayor. Many of the men under suspension are known to have been supporters of M. V. Joyce, defeated candidate for Mayor. Formal charges have heen preferred against each, according to Fire Chief Anthony Bruchs, and they will be tried by the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners.”

Chief Thomas Ballentyne, Secretary Patrick Curry and former City Attorney Judge Samuel B. Adams and son A. Pratt Adams, prominent members of the bar of Savannah were each presented with a handsome gold-headed umbrella as a token of remembrance from the firemen of Savannah fire department for securing the increase in their salaries. The presentation was made by Second Assistant Chief Toshach. Foreman Arthur J. Toshach, of Truck Company No. 1, who has been a member of the department for twenty-four years, has been promoted to second assistant chief.

Failure on the part of the city to provide adequate fire-fighting equipment in the Beechview district of Pittsburg, Pa., is held responsible for a large loss in the residential district Although for two years there has been a new engine house in that section, it has not yet been placed in commission, and the fire had done all the damage by the time Engine Company No. 17, the nearest available fire company, could get to the scene. As soon as the fire was discovered the old volunteer fire department, composed of citizens of that section, brought out their apparatus, but found that their hose would not fit the new fire plugs.

Start has been made by the Newark (X. J.) F’ire Board in gathering information relative to the organization of a training school for firemen. Charles S. Smith, clerk in the department, has been detailed to obtain all data possible for the guidance of those who will establish such a course of instruction. The need for men trained in the use of modern apparatus for saving lives at fires has been recognized for a long time, and the necessity was brought more forcibly to tne attention of the public by the High street factory disaster last fall. The Newark school will be designed along lines followed by the New York fire college.

Fire Marshal Sullivan has declared war on the defective flues in Louisiana. The defective flue problem is one which has confronted the insurance interests for a long time and all aid in coping with it is welcomed by underwriters. This official recently made an examination of many Hues in Lake Charles and found a large proportion of metal flues. He has called the attention of the mayor of that city to the need of correction and stringent legislation covering the flue problem. He expects to extend this good worn as fast as the resources of his department permit and will bend every effort toward improving the Louisiana conditions in this regard.

It is difficult for the mind to realize the wonderful speed attained by Bob Burman when he made a mile in 25.40 seconds at Daytona with Firestone tires on his Blitzcn Benz. This is a new world’s record that is likely to stand for a long time and means a speed of 141.73 miles an hour. It again shows that the motor car has no serious rival as a speed agent. The new mark is just 10 miles an hour better than Barney Oldfield’s best record and is the fastest speed yet attained by man. At this rate Burman and his Firestone tires would cover the route from Chicago to New York in six hours and fifty-three minutes, compared to which the eighteen hours of the Twentieth Century Limited looks slow indeed.

Live electric wires killed one fireman and seriously burned another in a fire which destroyed a merchandise house at Evansville, Ind, recently. Street lights feed wires broke as soon as the first water was thrown on the flames. Capt. John Schnabel was dragging a ladder into an alley behind the burning building when the wires dropped. The supposition is that he stumbled from the first shock of the falling wires and fell face downward on a clump ofothers. His death was instantaneous. It.was several minutes afterward before any of his crew reached him or realized what had happened because of the smoke and darkness. Assistant Chief Charles Wilder discovered him and attempted to drag him away from the wires.

Superintendent Smith, of the Norfolk, Va., fire alarm telegraph system, has ^received the tapper auxiliary system equipment and is now installing the set. The auxiliary system will connect with the three engine houses—Chamber’s, Independent’s and Park View’s—and will enable the firemen by its operation to instantaneously inform all of the other engine companies of their departure from headquarters on “still” alarms, a tapper system of indication pounding in all of the houses when the firemen are called out on other than alarms over the fire telegraph system. When the apparatus returns to any one of the houses from the “still” calls, it will be possible to immediately inform the other companies that the apparatus is back, and ready again to cover its territory. Hitherto, it has been necessary for the firemen to inform those in other stations of their activity on “still” alarms by use of the telephone.

Mayor Fuhrmann, of Buffalo, N. Y., has disapproved the proposed increase in salaries for members of the fife department. The mayor’s feelings were voiced after he had listened for more than two hours to arguments presented in behalf of the increase. His honor’s office was thronged with supporters of the fire-fighters and included some of Buffalo’s most influential business men. The disapproval came after the delegation of firemen from the Dauntless Club presented a petition containing about 45,000 taxpayers. The mayor made it plain that he had suggested to the fire commissioners an increase this year for only the officers of the department. The suggestion had been ignored, he contended, when the other members were brought into the salary schedule. He declared that while he believed he owed the firemen a duty and felt proud of them, he couldn’t allow their raise owing to the circumstances.

LATEST FIRE DEPARTMENT ITEMS

LATEST FIRE DEPARTMENT ITEMS

The estimated losses by fire in the United States and Canada, reported for the week ending May 1, amounted to $8,772,000.

S. H. Christie has been elected chief of the Pueblo, Colo., fire department.

Sam Elgin has been appointed to the position of chief of the Rushville. Ill., fire department.

Victor Morefield, fire chief of Denison, Tex., for eight years, has tendered his resignation to the City Council.

Brookline, Mass., by a majority of three, has voted one day off in five for the firemen instead of one day in eight.

The fire department of Anderson, S. C., has been changed from volunteer to paid and is now headed by W. L. Jackson as chief.

The fire commission of Los Angeles. Cal., has formally invited the National Firemen’s Association to hold its convention in Los Angeles in 1915.

Geo. E. Sturtevant, for many years chief of the Stoneham, Mass, fire department, died in that city April 11. He had been in poor health for several months.

The Board of Fire Commissioners of Lestershire, N. Y., has appointed William Barnett to the position of fire chief, succeeding C. F. Johnson, who refused reappointment.

While sliding down the brass pole in the fire house of Engine Company No. 45, Philadelphia, James Sullivan, a fireman, lost his grip and fell. He was picked up unconscious and taken to the hospital.

Senator Cetone’s hill giving the Ohio state fire marshal additional power to condemn and order torn down fire traps has passed after being amended to include mayors of municipalities and other officers.

City Engineer Nissler, of Lewiston, Mont., is installing an electric pressure regulating valve system whereby in case of fire the heavy pressure can be diverted to different mains by means of an electric switch in the fire headquarters.

Chief Salter, of the Omaha, Neb., fire department, has submitted his report for the year 1910. The fire loss for the year in Omaha amounted to $712,298, which amount was covered by $8,359,071. The fire alarms for the year aggregated 1,030.

An emergency bill for the city of Ottumwa, Iowa, as well as for all other cities in the same circumstances, allowing city councils to discharge honorably any firemen or policemen whom they cannot pay because of lack of funds, has been passed in the legislature.

George W. Pettey, chief of the Alexandria, Va., fire department, dropped dead April 15 while on his way to a fire. He was an active member of the International Association of Fire Engineers. M. L. Price, Jr., has been designated to act as chief until further action can be taken.

Chief A. R. Biddle, of the Storm Lake. Iowa, fire department, has the distinction of being one of the oldest fire chiefs in service in the United States. He has served as chief of the Storm Lake department for thirty-nine years and has in his company twelve firemen who have served under him for thirty years.

The city hall at Schacrbeck. Belgium, a suburb of Brussels, together with its priceless works of art, including notable paintings and gobelins, was destroyed by fire last week. Two firemen were killed during a desperate effort to save some of the contents of the building. It is believed the lire was of incendiary origin.

Twenty-two firemen fell three stories to the ground when the Greve block, a three-story building on East Fourth street. St. Paul, Minn., gave way during a fire. Assistant Chief Miles McNally and Pipeman Nicholas Remakel were taken to a hospital. Most of the other firemen were severely injured. All are expected to recover.

Arguing it would he for the best interests of the department, the firemen’s pension hoard has asked the hoard of public safety to reduce the age limit for firemen from 40 to 35 years. The board granted the request resolving to not consider applications of men desiring places in the fire department if the applicants are over 35 years of age.

The Kansas City (Mo.) Journal says: “A petition has been circulated among the business men of the city of Independence protesting against the move to oust Chief Staub, of the fire department, because of his politics. It was signed by many and will be presented to the City Council to-night in an effort to head off the proposed ouster.”

Fire chief Kennedy, of the Billings. Mont., fire department, has submitted his report for the year of 1910. It is as follows: Insurance paid on fires for year. $7,964, as against $104,000 last year; number of alarms. 05, including 4 false, 26 general and 35 still: number of gallons of chemicals used during the year, 310; number of feet of hose laid during the year. 11,650; number of feet of hose on hand, 5,200, all in good order.

A legislative bill that will make every fire insurance policy voidable in Minnesota if the owners of a burned building had not complied with city ordinances in regard to provision of proper fire extinguishing apparatus, is to be drafted by Building Inspector Houghton, of Minneapolis, and introduced into the next legislature. The question of the legality of such a bill is all that deters the building inspector from making an immediate draft of the measure.

Chief H. F. Magee, of the Dallas, Tex., department. has filed his report for the month of March. There were 44 alarms during the month, of which 24 were transmitted on the fire alarm system, 16 by telephone and 4 were still alarms. The property loss is declared to have been the smallest in many months, Fires were confined to the place of origin in 25 cases, to adjoining buildings in 9 and only once got beyond the limit. Six were grass fires and there were 3 false alarms.

The annual report of the fire chief of Shenandoah, Iowa, shows a very good record for the past year. The department consists of 21 men. They have reported to 28 alarms, 17 fires and 11 false alarms. The average attendance to alarms was 18. The amount of hose laid during the year was 397 feet at each fire. The estimated amount of property endangered was $515,650; the total amount of loss, $5,025. At the last meeting the department re-elected Frank Sandman chief and Ira S. Cleveland assistant chief for a term of two years.

At the examination of witnesses on the coroner’s jury at Scranton. Pa., Jas. Grady, retired mine fire boss, who is serving as a juryman, stated that the havoc wrought by the smoke, which suffocated 72 men at the recent mine fire, was due to a mistake of the fire fighters in attacking the fire from the wrong side. Grady asserted that if a canvas brattice had been put up to deflect the air the fire fighters could have gotten to a second water plug hack of the engine house, and that the air could not then have carried the flames through an opening to a trip of mine cars. It was the burning of the mine cars that caused the trouble. Grady maintained.

A large number of Oklahoma cities, including practically all of the larger ones, are now filing the necessary data with the insurance department to enable the members of their fire departments to obtain the benefits of the firemen’s pension law, passed by the second legislature, and take advantage of the fund created by that law in case of sickness or accident as well as for extended service. Last year only live cities qualified, but the matter was taken up by J. Bart Foster, secretary of the State Firemen’s Association, with the result that most of them have come in this year. It is necessary tor cities which expected to get benefits from that law to qualify before July 1, 1911.

The question of providing pensions for disabled members of the police and fire departments of cities of over 25,900 population in Alabama has been practically settled. Under the constitution of Alabama it is impossible to provide a pension system for any state or city official. I he Percy bill, which passed the Senate and will become a law on the approval of the governor, authorizes the governing bodies of the cities to disburse funds of said cities for the relief of their employes, simply providing that in the event a policeman or fireman becomes disabled while in the discharge of his duty, either by injury or by age, the commissioners may provide half pay for the said employe.

The fire chiefs who attended the International Association of Fire Engineers’ convention in Milwaukee September 19 to 21, have been invited to go to Chicago following their meeting, as guests at the International Municipal Congress and Exposition, in session from September 18 to 30. The management states that a steamer will be chartered to convey the fire chiefs from Milwaukee to Chicago. The exposition is to be held in the Coliseum, the First Regiment Armory and a specially built structure. It is said to be the first event of its kind. All sorts of machines and devices used by cities all over the world, fire apparatus included, will be exhibited. A special exhibition will be arranged for the chief engineers.

Monthly fire drills in every building in Illinois more than two stories high are required in a bill introduced by Representative William Tudor A. Madoc into the legislature The bill would make an entirely new fire protection law. patterned after the New Jersey statutes It specifies material and details of construction of buildings and other requirements as to escapes and safety appliances. There shall be at least one lire escape for every 25o persons employed in a building. They shall be of iron, of the stairway type and shall reach the ground. It the building is more than two stories high it shall he equipped also with mechanical alarms. Buildings which have a satisfactory system of fire escapes at the time of the passage of the law are to be exempted from its provisions.

As recently mentioned in this journal. Miss Maggie Harris, daughter of the late Chief A J. Harris, of Tampa, Fla., has the distinction of being the first girl in the world to be called upon to organize a fire department. Miss Harris will organize a volunteer department for Port Tampa City. Several severe tires recently have awakened the citizens and officials to the need of protection. About forty men have volunteered their services. The men selected will be thoroughly drilled by Miss Harris. The late Chief Harris resided in Savannah for a number of years, during which time he was connected with the old volunteer department. He moved to Tampa when the Tampa department was reorganized and became its ehief. Miss Harris was secretary to her father during his career, and took a deep interest in fire lighting.

One man was killed and scores of girls had narrow escapes from death in a fire which partly destroyed the Essex building, St. Louis, Mo., last week, entailing a loss of $60,000. Rumors that girls had perished caused scores of frantic relatives and friends of employes of firms in the building to gather at the scene, making it difficult for the firemen to work. The rumors of fatalities were so persistent that it was hours before the crowd could he cleared away. When the fire was extinguished a search of the ruins by firemen disclosed only the one body. Five water towers played streams into the front of the building for four hours, while fifteen other streams were played from the roofs and windows of buildings in the rear. Others were poured through holes in the partition walls from the adjoining buildings cut by the firemen. The fire was under control at all times, but burned with great fury.

The Texas State Insurance Board has inaugurated a campaign with mayors and councilmen of Texas towns to adopt fire marshal ordinances and arrange to have insurance rates reduced. On this subject the board is sending out the following with copies of ordinances: “To mayors and coitucilmen of all Texas cities and towns This office is mailing you herewith copies of a city lire marshal ordinance and a building code, recommended by the board, together with a bulletin issued analyzing the key rate charges as published in the schedules governing fire insurance rates now in force in the state, and would respectfully urge that these matters he given earnest consideration by you at once. It will be seen by reference to the key rate schedule that the service of an active tire marshal will secure for any city or town a substantial reduction in fire insurance rates, besides a strict enforcement of the lire marshal ordinance recommended by this department would necessarily result in a reduction of the fire hazard, thereby decreasing losses and finally produce cheaper lire insurance rates. The building code sent you, enacted into an ordinance and properly enforced, would secure a further key rate credit and in addition serve the purpose of reducing the fire hazard. There are now some forty cities and towns in the state having the fire marshal ordinance and quite a number have enacted the building law, and it is the wish of this board that all municipalities not having these ordinances enact them into laws without further delay and report the fact to this office, whereupon the matter of adjusting fire insurance rates to meet the credits necessary will have prompt attention.”