Los Angeles Fire Report
The annual report of Chief A. J. Eley, of the Los Angeles, Cal., fire department, for the last fiscal year shows: Property loss during the year amounted to $773,035. This amount Chief Eley says was $494,820 less than the previous year. The cause of fires in 32 instances during the year was due to arson; bonfires, rubbish and grass fires, 795; carelessness with gasoline, 53; chimney fires, 55; distillate overflow, 71; defective flues, 30; defective gas heaters, 22; electric irons, 28; defective wiring, 18; gasoline leaking, 58; leaking gas pipes, 15; overheated stoves, 26; overheated gas stoves, 24; chimney sparks, 44; spontaneous combustion, 33; smokq scare, 82; careless use of matches, 17. In addition, 20 fires were caused by the careless use of matches by children. In 648 instances out of a total of 2,723 alarms, the causes of fires were not known.
Urges Purchase of Motor Apparatus.
The report recommends the purchase of eight motor-driven combination pumping engines and hose wagons, four motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagons, three motor-driven city service trucks, seven automobiles for use of battalion chiefs and mechanical engineer, one-ton truck for fuel wagon, searchlight and supplies; two motordriven tractors, six motor-driven tractors to motorize steamers at various engine houses and five motor-driven chasses for reconverted hose wagons, and that a modern fire boat with a capacity of not less than 9,000 gallons per minute be purchased in order to give adequate fire protection to shipping, including eight miles of wharfage and millions of dollars worth of property at Los Angeles Harbor, as the present method of fighting fires at the harbor is “entirely inadequate to cope with any serious fire, especially with high winds that prevail there.”
Fire Alarm System.
Relative to a new fire alarm system. Chief Eley says: “I again urgently recommend that the installation of a modern fire alarm be begun without delay, and installed in the central station at Engine No. 28, 646 Figueroa street. The need of a modern fire alarm system is becoming more apparent every day, and the fire department cannot be expected properly to respond to fires unless a proper and efficient fire alarm system is provided whereby it can receive alarms with speed and certainty. The chief recommends that white and red lamps be placed at locations of fire alarm boxes to show the location of these boxes to the public at night and that a semaphore fire alarm system with vibrating gong be placed at each corner of the congested district on Main, Spring, Broadway and Hill streets, to notify the public and the crossing officers of the approach of fire apparatus, said system to be connected and operated from the central fire alarm office. The city, Chief Eley says, should own the conduits and wires of the fire alarm system, discontinuing the use of leased wires, as at present. The fire alarm system, Chief Eley says, should be so devised as to allow for the growth of the city for at least 20 years to come. At least 40 per cent, or more of the city, he states, is without fire alarm boxes and the residents in this territory have to depend entirely upon the telephone system for turning in alarms. Chief Eley says more fire alarm boxes should be installed at San Pedro, East San Pedro and Terminal Island. A fire alarm system, he says, should also be installed at Wilmington, and in the Gardena district. The building of three new fire houses and the purchase of four fire house sites is recommended.