Laws for English Volunteer Fire Brigades.
According to an English authority, a brigade (whether actually using and publishing the title “Volunteer,” or no) consisting of volunteers who have agreed to work engines and plant either purchased by a town council, local board, or other urban authority, or bought and presented for the use of such town council by some private parties for the benefit of their district, cannot recover any charge made for attending fires within the area of the jurisdiction of such town council, local board, etc.; nor, under like conditions, can such authorities themselves claim for the services rendered by such brigade within their district. If summoned to go to a fire (by a responsible person) outside of the district, of course the brigade can then claim, on the basis of a fixed scale of charges, which must be popularly known to be their regular charge for such outside attendance ; but they cgnnot legally claim for extras, nor for refreshments. If, without waiting for a summons to an outside fire, they attend it of their own accord, they cannot legally claim anything for so doing, unless the owner or occupier of the burning property, or his agent, accept their services on such arrival.
As regards volunteer brigades that are not in any way in more or less nominal alliance with a town council or local authority, but who buy and maintain their own plant, and build or rent their own engine house, etc,, out of the subscriptions they collect and the charges they make, they are entitled to legally recover if they observe the following requirements :
1st. They must be summoned to the fire in a bona fide manner, by some responsible person.
2d. They must base their charges upon a scale of charges which has been hung up in their engine house, published at some time or another in the local papers, and which must be generally known beforehand by the public as the only terms on which the brigade will consent to turn out.
3d. They must sue in the name or names of one or more of their members, acting as trustees for the rest.
4th. They must claim from the owner or occupier, not from the insurance company.
THE FIRE AT THE LAEKEN Palace.—The commissary of police has furnished his report on the recent fire, and points out several grave matters, notably the delay in warning the police and firemen, without which delay the destruction could have been minimized. As it was, the soldiers attempted the extinction of the flames, although not one of them understood the working of the fire manuals, some strangers showing them how to work them. This endeavor to do without the fire brigade caused the delay, messages having been dispatched to the King at 1.15 and 1.30, while .the telephonic dispatch to firemen was after both these. Mademoiselle Drencourt, who met her death by the fire, could easily have been saved had less confusion reigned, as the window was only about nineteen feet from the ground, and plenty of ladders were close at hand had anyone had the presence of mind to think of them. The commissary concludes by saying : “I can certify that if our firemen had been present, they are too brave to have left to die by the flames a woman whom it would have been so easy to save.”—Le Revue des Assurances.