Low Fire Loss at Vancouver

Low Fire Loss at Vancouver

Vancouver, B. C., had the smallest property loss in 1916 that has been recorded in that city since 1911. The 1916 loss was $98,000 less than that of 1915 and over $100,000 less than the loss sustained during the years 1912, 1913 and 1914, respectively, reflecting great credit on Chief J. H. Carlisle and the tire department. According to Chief Carlisle’s report for the year 1916 the total number of alarms answered by the department last year was 540, which is 132 less than the record for 1915. The number of fires where damage occurred in 1916 was only 192, while the number of fires where a loss resulted during the previous year was 224. Last year’s loss on buildings was $242,940 and loss on contents w as $208,232, a total of $511,172. The total value of property involved was $4,021,614. Chief Carlisle states that included in the above figures are losses occurring on boats, or marine losses, the estimated damage from fires of this nature being $63,100. The chief says: “One feature of the report is the large amount of damage occurring from fires of known incendiary origin. $262,981 was the combined loss of four fires of this nature, which is more than one-half of the total loss for the year. It is a matter of some satisfaction to note that the offenders were caught and punished in three instances, one being sentenced to four years and six months in the penitentiary, another was given two years, while in the third instance two young boys were dealt with by the City Juvenile and Detention Home. I make the distinction that these losses were of known incendiary origin, and it is only reasonable to suppose that a fair percentage of the fires which are recorded as ‘cause unknown,’ are also the work of incendiaries, but it is very difficult to secure sufficient evidence to bring these people to justice. Some rearrangement was made in the apparatus stationed at some of the Halls during the past year. At No 11 Hall a motor hose wagon was placed in commission to take the place of the horse-drawn awgon in use there, and at No. 14 Hall a motor combination hose wagon and chemical was installed, thereby enabling me to place two horse-drawn machines, namely, hose wagon and chemical, in reserve. The chemical engine at No. 12 Hall, and a steam engine at No. 15 Hall were placed in reserve during the past year. During the year there were 41 false alarms, 24 smoke scares, 94 chimney fires, one exhibition run, one rescue work, 172 fires where no damage resulted, 14 fires outside the city and one second alarm. There were 46 fires from unknown causes. Other causes of alarms were: Fires broke out again, 4; oil lamps upset and exploding, 6; thawing frozen pipes, 9; rubbish near furnace, 3; overheated stoves, furnaces and pipes, 23; explosions in stoves and furnaces, 2; carelessness with matches, cigars and cigarettes, 13; smoke scare, 24; coal oil stoves, 9; overheated steam pipe, 1; awning fires, 3; defective stoves, furnaces and pipes, 8; stoves, furnaces and pipes too close to woodwork, 5; incendiary, 4; defective fireplaces, grates and chimneys, 29; wood piled too close to stove, 3; hot ashes, 8; spontaneous combustion, 8; electric irons and heaters left on, 7; fuel oil leaking, 4; flying sparks, 50; explosions, gasoline, etc., 8; electric origin, 13; stepping on match, 4; brush, stump and grass fires, 38; children playing with matches, 14; automobile fires, 9; backfire in oil burner, rubbish fires, 12; lighting fire with coal oil, 1; drying clothes and bedding, 4; tar pots, 5. There were ninety fires in dwellings, five in hotel and stores, eight in miscellaneous stores, twelve in stores and rooms above, three in apartments, seven in automobiles, one in a tent, two on tugboats, three in restaurants, three in stores and office, one in barracks, two in manufactroies, three in warehouses, six in rooming houses, two in churches, one in a bank and office, one in a grain eleva’tor.

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