Marblehead Hazard Severe.
There is a severe conflagration-hazard in the old portion of Marblehead, Mass., according to the engineers of the committee on fire-prevention of the National Board, “due to the compactly built frame construction, with shingle roofs, a weak fire department and an inadequate water supply.” The fire protection facilities of the town are summarised as follows: The waterworks owned and operated by the town; the management is efficient. The supply from the wells is inadequate, and there is no storage on the system except in a standpipe too small to be of value for fire protection. The pumping capacity entirely inadequate. The supply to the town is through a single main, which is too small to furnish proper fire protection. The consumption is rather high. The pressures are. good in the more important sections; rather light in the higher portions. The distribution system is good in most localities. The gate-valve spacing, with a few exceptions, is good; but the gates are not inspectcd regularly, and many are covered by street surfacing; their condition, however, is generally good. The hydrants are of satisfactory type and in good condition; the spacing generally is adequate. The fire department is part full paid and partly on a call basis. The financial support is poor. The department is properly under the control of the chief. The department is reorganised yearly an extremely unsatisfactory feature. The companies arc undermanned. Some valuable districts are poorly protected. The apparatus in service is in fair condition; two old engines in reserve are of questionable value. The ladder service is poor; it can be improved by carrying ladders on wagons and reels. There are no chemical tanks. The hose supply is fair, in good condition and well cared for. The minor equipment is deficient. The discipline is good, but drills are lacking. The response to alarms and fire methods are good for the limited amount of apparatus. No building inspections are made, but records are well kept. The service, as a whole, is weak, but fairly efficient.