Latest Fire News.

Latest Fire News.

The French Academy of Science has been notified of a process by which celluloid may be rendered non-inflammable through the use of an ether silicate instead of pure ether. This will greatly reduce fire hazard in factories where celluloid is made or used.

When Commissioner Waldo entered the trial room in fire headquarters Thursday, May 5, he was surprised to find that there were no cases on the calendar. Never before had a trial daypassed without some complaints being heard, the weekly average often ranging from twenty-five to thirty cases.

The latest Federal government report in relation to fire departments gives the total expenditures made by various cities for this purpose during 1907 as follows: Cleveland appropriated $754,753; Detroit, $798,915; Cincinnati, $624,711; Milwaukee, $640,000; New Orleans, $352,001; Washington, $640,280; Minneapolis, $411,000, and Jersey City, $297,920.

About sixty veteran foremen and assistant foremen will leave the New York fire department next month. They will retire on pensions. The board of estimate has granted an increase in salaries, thus increasing pensions, and the oldtimers, for one reason or another, have determined to take advantage of the increase. Their places will be filled by younger men.

Chicopee, Mass., has the smallest fire loss in the state, among cities of the “20,000 and over” class. According to statistics recently issued by the National Board of Fire Underwriters, the loss in Chicopee was 58 cents per capita; in Lawrence, 60 cents; North Adams, 69; Northampton, 75, and Springfield, 84. The largest losses occurred in Lynn, where the loss per capita was $3.06; in Pittsfield, where the loss was $3.42; in Boston, $3.60; Gloucester, $3.83, and Salem, $6.65.

When Director Morin of the public safety department makes his annual report to the Pittsburg councils in July he will make several prop ositions which will, if adopted, cause many important changes in the civil service system of selecting men for the fire department. The most important is that the mere passing of a mental examination does not qualify a man to employment in the service. He must, first of all, be physically filted.

The police of Jersey City, N. J., have in custody a self-confessed firebug, and they believe he has started other fires than those he has admitted, He is James McKenna, 22 years old, of Jersey City. His only excuse, he said in his confessions, was that he could not control a nature craving for excitement. He admitted starting eight fires during the last few months, some of which resulted in serious damage and narrow escapes from loss of life.

Public school No. 74, in Brooklyn, had fire drill on June 22. which was witnessed by Fire Commissioner Waldo and a number of friends, the entire party being chaperoned by District Superintendent George C. Strachan. Not one of the 1,100 pupils in the building had any knowledge as to what was coming, and when the alarm was sounded they made an orderly exit. Commissioner Waldo, who kept the time, said that the building was cleared in one minute and fiftylive seconds. This is considered exceptionally quick time.

Criticism of casualties among firemen at recent New York fires has resulted in an order from Commissioner Waldo which makes every truck company in the department a sort of ambulance and hospital corps. The crew of each truck is receiving a thorough course of lessons on how to render first aid to injured firemen overcome by smoke or otherwise injured in a burning building. Each truck is also-obliged to carry on its run to a fire an assortment of surgical supplies that may be useful.

It is said that the fire marshal frequently has no knowledge of many small New York City fires for which public alarms are not given; yet he may be interested in a larger proportion of these fires than of others. The New York Board of Fire Underwriters is kept informed on the results of the work of the fire marshal, who now asks its co-operation to the extent of furnishing the information asked for on a blank, which is being sent to the members of the board. It is particularly desired by the board that members notify the fire marshal of fires coming to their notice which are not reported by the fire patrol or the fire department.




The Fourth of July has again come—and gone. The firemen of New York rejoice in consequence. They had plenty of runs, but only one big tire—that of the ice plant of the American Brewing company at One Hundred and Fifty-eighth street and Third avenue, whose top floor contained 1,400 pounds of ammonia. The cellar, in which were stored many hogs heads of beer, was fireproof, and coloss was suffered there. Three alarms were sounded, and, fearing that the ammonia tanks might explode the firemen were extremely careful in fighting the fire. They confined the flames to Hie upper two floors.—A spectacular fire in the big six-story malt house of the Farmers’ Feed company, of New Jersey, at Seventyfifth street and Avenue A, destroyed the whole structure and caused a loss of $100,000. The good work of the firemen, with the flreboats Havemeyer and Van YVyck and the water tower,confined the flamesto tile malt house, which was gutted in very short order Tile East Side House, a social settlement, of which Everett P. YVheeler is president, standing close by, though of frame, was splendidly saved, with its gymnasium and outbuildings.—Theron Blakeslee’s magnificent collection of pictures and curios in his gallery at Fifth avenue and Thirty-fourth street, valued at about $100 000, burned.—The Manhattan firemen have had a very fiery week of it__A new engine company, No. 72, has been organized, to be located in East Twelfth street, near Fifth avenue, Manhattan. It will form partof the Sixth battalion of the fire departmentand will beunderthecommand of Captain John Kenlon, of Engine company No 13.—Saturday’s blaze in HoboLen allowed thut the New York department should be considerably strengthened. At least two additional fireboats are called for.—Chaplain Johnson, though ill with appendicitis and in bed awaiting an operation the next day, turned out like a brave man to a midnight fire.

Detroit. Mich., has appointed thirty-four fire department cadets to help out on the leave days of the regular firemen. Of these twenty-four are attached to engiue companies, and ten to hook and ladder companies.

Chief Kerner, of the South Bend, Ind., fire department says that the city must soon add steam fire engines to its equipment, and adds thattbe necessity for these cannot be ignored much longer He also asks for a new ladder supply; that the men be obliged to attend ladder practice; and that the dangerous network of overhead wires, particularly in the business district, he placed underground.

The principal portion of the village of Simsbury, Conn., burned. Loss, $25,000.

Harrison Vanduzen of Butler, Ind , claims to have discovered a fluid which is said to make gasolene absolutely non-explosive. He has given a number of public demonstrations, with reported perfect success. All that is required is a few drops of the fluid per gallon.

No water protection at Quasquitton, la. A recent fire burned three business blocks.

James T. Glennon. veterinary for the fire department of Newark, N. J., has sued Fire Commissioner Illingworth, of the same city, for alleged libel, in declaring that the veterinarian, in the interest of a friend, had passed a foundered horse. The latter produces affidavits to the contrary from the leading veterinarians of the city, notwithstanding which Commissioner Illingworth repeated the charge at a meeting of the commissioners and suggested that ihe veterinarian should resign. The damages are placed at $20 000.

The fire department of Joplin, Mo., has contracted for a Champion combination chemical fire engine from tlie Fire Extinguisher Manufacturing company, of Chicago. The capacity of the tank will be sixty gallons, and the machine will be fitted with an automatic hose reel and two extension ladders The chemical hose can al-o be attached to a hydrant, and the stream run through the tank.

Owing entirely to the working of the civil service meiit-syatem ordinance at Baltimore, Md. of the eight newly-elected firemen there, over half were Iietnihlicans. The city’s board of fire commissioners is Democratic.

During an early morning fire in the house of Michael Coyne, a notoriousdrunken roysterer of San Fran-isco, the whole of the lower part of the building was in flames, and all escape from the upper stories was cutoff Coyne suddenly appeared at a top floor window and screamed for help. Fireman John E. Sweeney, of engine company No. 29, throwing a coat over his head, struggled lip the charred and falling stairs, with the flames on each side of him. He secured Coyne, and made his way back with the man on his shoulders and the clothing of each on fire Reaching the street, he fell down in a heap unconscious. Each man was fearfully burned. Coyne will recover, but Sweeney died of bis injuries. He was a fireman of whom any city might be proud.

The Custer County wool warehouse, two dwellings, a barn, and eight cars burned at Miles City, Mont. There were 900,000 pounds of wool in the warehouse. Loss, $220,000; insurance partial.

At Scranton, Pa, on July 4, the Coal Exchange store and office building was almost entirely burned by an early morning fire, which caused a loss of $125.000, partly insured A number of firms occupied offices and stores in the buildings, and their individual losses ranged from $6,000 to $40,000.

At Colorado Springs. Colo., Charles Pearson, who was elected chief of the fire department by the city council at its meeting a week ago, lias made aformul demand for the office. Hisdeuiand was turned down by the members of ths fire committee and the city clerk, upon the advice of City Attorney Morris, who holds that Pearson is not eligible to serve as chief, because he lias not served at leust one year witli a paid department,as required by ordinance. It is possible that Pearson will bring suit, and he is now consulting his legal advisers before takingdefinite action. The city attorney states that the council must repeal the present ordinance before Pearson can qualify. In the meantime. Mr. B. Z. McReynolds continues at the head of the department as acting chief, both ns the agent of the fire committee and as Mr. Pearson’s.

Captains Henry Weatherford and William Selvage, of the tire department of Louisville, Ky , will he promoted to the position of assistant chief on the 16th iust. They were reduced to captains under an ordinance adopted by the general council a year ago.. They now go back to their old places under a recent act of the legislature, now in effect. Captain Weatherford is one of the oldest members of the fire department, and is a spleudiil fireman. Captain Selvage has also a fine record, and had experience as an assistant chief, when acting in that capacity before.

Six prominent railway men were instantly killed and twenty-three seriously injured by the explosion of several gasolene tank-cars in the yards of the Ohio River railway at Parkersburg, W. Va., on July 4. A train of these tank-cars was struck by a yard engine, and the officials, as usual, ordered a cannon shot to be fired at the remaining tanks so as to free the oil. An explosion followed and the yard was filled with dead and dying. The general superintendent, engineer, telegrapher, yardmaster, master mechanic, and a conductor were instantly killed; one man is missing; and the rest were frightfully maimed by flying pieces of iron and wood or received internal injuries from the concussion caused by the explosion

The Metropolitan fire brigade, of London, intends to fit up all fire alarms in the British metropolis with the portable telephone apparatus designed by Commander YVells. chief superintendent of the brigade. It will cost $3,500 a year to adapt the fire alarm posts for the purpose of transmitting telephonic messages and purchasing and keeping up the portable telephones. The whole of the work will not be completed this year.

The Houston, Tex., Post of .Tune 15 has printed a list of fifteen women and children who had been burned to death since June 7 through exulosions of kerosene oil cans In every case but one the victims had been attempting to kindle a fire with kerosene. Erom January 1 up to June 19 no fewer than fortyfive persons were burned to death in Texas as the result of kerosene explosions

The Wyandotte. Mich., fire department has elected the following officers: President and treasurer, William Roberts: secretary, James Headman; captain, Albert Lorenz.