LOCOMOTIVES FIGHT FIRE.
In the big yards of the Pennsylvania railway at Pittsburg and Altoona the locomotives are used for firefighting purposes. Fire pumps and hose are attached to switch-engines regularly used in “drilling” cars, and their crews are systematically trained as fire brigades to promptly put out any blaze that might occur in the hundreds of cars out of reach of city fire departments. The yards arc divided into districts, numbered as are fire-alarm boxes in cities. When a fire is discovered, the nearest switch tower is notified and alarm whistles are blown throughout the yard limits. By a code of signals, engineers of locomotives within the yard can tell from the whistles just where the fire is. Each engine at once uncouples front its draught of cars as soon as the latter can he plAced where they will not obstruct main tracks. Yarjlmasters and train directors give necessary orders to provide a clear track to the scene of the fire. Almost before the lecmnotiv s are uncoupled, signals are set indicating the routes by which to reach the fire, and by the time they arrive their crews have pumps unlimbered ready to work and hose ready to unreel. In the fire organisation he assistant vardmastcr acts as chief, and gives general directions both in firefiigbting and in drills. The conductor of each train crew acts as foreman of that crew, the flagman looks after unreeling and connection of the hose, the two brakemen act as nozzlemen and direct the stream. At a recent fire, which occurred about the gas tank under a passenger car. the first enginj was coupled up ready to act within two minutes after the alarm was sounded, while within seven minutes nine engines were on the scene.
The city waterworks extension at Crowley. La., which consists of four miles of additional water mains, has been completed and the last connections made. Every house in the corporate limits is now under fire protection by the waterworks.