Monthly Report for District of Columbia
The monthly report of George S. Watson, fire marshal of the District of Columbia, shows that during the month 223 alarms of fire were received, an increase of 16, as compared with the preceding month. Of the 223 alarms of fire received 114 were box alarms and 109 locals or telephone calls. Of the box alarms received 26 were false and of the local alarms three were false. The loss caused by the 114 box alarms is estimated at $251,745. The loss caused by the 109 locals or telephone calls is estimated at $3,655. The total loss is $255,400. This loss is an increase of $228,160 as compared with the loss for the preceding month and an increase of $248,760 as compared with the loss for the same month last year, February, 1918. During the month four fires occurred which necessitated the sounding of additional alarms of fire and these four fires with six others are the fires where the loss for each exceeded $1,000. During the month the fire department responded to two fires outside of the District of Columbia, but these fires are not counted with District losses. Loss on buildings, $100,388; loss on contents, $155,012.
The inspection of mercantile establishments is still being vigorously pursued; during the month the number of inspections numbered 1942 and from the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, 1918, to the last day of February, 1919, 9,534 inspections were made and these inspections do not include the investigation of all alarms of fire and the inspection of theatres.
During the month 28 complaints of different sources were received and investigated, and where necessary notices were served by the inspectors directing the person or persons to have the bad conditions complained of abated, and in each case where notices were served the orders were complied with.
During the month 29 false alarms were received, a decrease of eight as compared with the number received last month. Of the 114 box alarms received 26 were false and of the 109 local alarms three were false. Two suspicious fires were investigated, but in each case sufficient evidence could not be obtained to warrant the department taking any action.
The enabling act sought by the St. Louis, Mo., fire department, to authorize St. Louis to levy a tax of onefifth of a mill upon all property for the benefit of the firemen’s pension fund w’as passed by the House by a vote of 118 to 8. Representatives Comer and Eigel of St. Louis opposed the bill. Recently Comptroller Nolte and city officials asked for the defeat of this bill upon the ground that it would absorb a large part of the city’s limited taxing power and would create a fund very much too large for the needs of the pension fund.