THE CHARLESTON DEPARTMENT TO BE RE-ORGANIZED.
At a late meeting of the Charleston, S. C., city council, the Fire Department question was discussed. During the morning a petition from the president of some of the Companies in the Fire Department was presented offering to run the Department for $31,000 per annum. After considerable discussion Alderman Thayer offered the following, which was adopted. Resolved, That the whole matter be referred to the committees on Fire Department and Ways and Means to report at the first meeting in October a plan for the re-organization of the Fire Department, and that the communications of certain presidents of Fire Companies heretofore referred to the committee on Fire Department be referred to said committee.
FIRE ESCAPES IN FACTORIES AND WORKSHOPS.
The recent fire in Philadelphia, by which twenty or more persons w ere either killed or maimed, and that in New York, by which several persons narrowly escaped, should awaken the au horities and the ownrs of manufacturing establishments, says the ” Herald” of Boston, to the possibility of a like disaster in that city. The Philadelphia factory had a stairway in the front and rear, and the owner of the building, though notified to place a fire escape on the outside, neglected so to do, giving as a reason that the interior stairways were amply sufficient in case of fire. The result of this neglect was a holocaust. The third, fourth and fifth stories of our large warehouses throughout the burnt district are mo tly occupied by manufacturing establishments, m which are employed a large number of men and women, and in the greater number of these establishments the means cf escape, in case of fire, are no better than in the Philadelphia establishment just mentioned. Last year, in the columns of this paper, we gave to the public the result of an investigation made by us into some of these buildings, and the result has been an improvement in the means of escape in case of fire. The Philadelphia fire, like hundreds of a similar nature, shows that, in large manufacturing establishments, above the second story, any number of internal stairways will not make up for the lack of an external one in case of fire. Our manufacturing establishments in this city to-day are more dangerous in case of fire than the woolen and cotton mills of this State. In these latter establishments the whole building is under the management of one corporation—the State force cf this commonwealth is continually supervising them—and the mutual companies, in which the greater part Of these mills are insured, requiie extra precautions against fires.’ The Board of Fire Commissioners, in its last annual report, states, in relation to this very subject: “In many of the large buildings of the burnt district there are as many kinds of busir.ess carried on as there are stories in the bui ding, each story being under the control of a d.fferent occupant. These floors, instead of being separated from each other as much as possible, are usually connected by elevator shafts, and by woode 1 stairways, with glass doors and window’s at the head of each stairway on each floor, all excellent conductors of flame and smoke.” It can at once be seen that the liability of employees being cut off from egress by internal stairways in our manufacturing establishments in this city is very great. The building act of 1872, as also chap. 192 of the acts of 1880, gave ample power to the inspector of buildings to compel the owners of buildings to place such fire escapes on them as shall be directed and approved by him. The City Council tried in vain, at the last session of the Legislalure, to exclude this city from the provisions of chap. 197 ofjthe acts of 1880, which provides that, where five or more operatives are employed in manufacturing establishments or workshops above the second story, they shall be provided with more than one way of egress inside or outside the building. The inspector of buildings is all powerful in this matter. Let us take timely warning and thus avoid a repetition of the sad calamity which occurred but yesterday in Philadelphia and is just as liable to be repeated here to-morrow. It is a question also whether persons injured through a failure to comply with the provisions of chap. 197, acts of 1880, have not a right of action against the owner of the buildings, who, in addition, is liable to a criminal prosecution.
LET OTHERS DO LIKEWISE.
At a meeting of the fire insurance men of New Haven, Conn., a committee was appointed to draft resolutions commendatory of Chief Engineer A. C. Hendrick. Nothing gives a Fireman more pleasure than an expression of sympathy with his cause from those most interested, thus indicating that his services are appreciated. The report of the New Haven underwriters was as follows:
To A. C. HENDRICK, Chief Engineer:
Whereas, The undet writers of this city knowing the unbounded confidence which is placed in you by our citizens, and the great desire that you may long live to fill the honorable position you now occupy, and hoping that far distant may be the time when we shall be dcptived cf your valued services, we desire now to offer to you an expression of our confidence ; and do hereby resolve that
Whereas, Albert C. Hendrick has for more than a quarter of a century proved himself a brave and daring Fireman, and by his promptness and efficiency has saved much valuable property from destruction ; and
Whereas, As Chief Engineer for fitteen years, by his executive abilitv in the management of the Department, he has secured thorough discipline ancl efficiency in all its affairs, we hereby extend to him our individual thanks, and assure him that his services have been duly appreciated by us and the companies we represent.