MONTREAL’S DANGER FROM FIRE.
At a meeting, the other day, of the Canadian Fire Underwriters Association, at Montreal, G. F. C. Smith, of the Liverpool and London and Globe, presided, and the other companies were represented as follows: Ætna, F. W. Evans; British America, H. A. Holden; Caledonian, J. W. Hart; Commercial Union, F. Cole; Glasgow and London, J. P. Vincent; Guardian, G. W. Denham; Hartford, E. J. Lily and F. W. Evans; Imperial, W. H. Rintoul; Lancashire, J. H. Routh; London and Lancashire, H. J. Johnston; London Assurance, C. C. Foster; National, L. II. Boult; Northern, J. W. Taylor; Norwich Union, J. W. Molson ; Phenix of Brooklyn, J. C. Sinton ; Phoenix of London, R. Tyre ; Que• bec, J. H. Routh; Queen, H. J. Mudge; Royal, W. Talley; Royal Canadian, G. H. McHenry ; Scottish Union and National, W. Kavanagh, and Western, J. H. Routh. The meeting was held with closed doors (says The Commercial Bulletin. New York), but it is understood that the civic authorities were given a lively hauling over the coals for the inefficient state of the brigade and their apparent penuriousness in not expending certain sums which were urgently needed to improve the service, and especially, to have all steamers, reels, ladders, etc., available at all seasons of the year. Much comment took place, says the same paper, on the fact that less money is appropriated to the fire department than to others which are much less important, and that certain minor officials receive more pay than the chief of the brigade. The following motion was finally unanimously adopted :
” That from the experience of the past, and particularly from that of the late fire at the Nuns’ building and from information derived, this meeting is forced to the conclusion that the management of the fire brigade is bad, involving a great want of discipline ; that the fire appliances are insufficient, and that even those in possession of the brigade are largely kept in such order as that they cannot be used when wanted, and that the water supply, especially in the commercial part of the city, is such as places Montreal in a very inferior position as regards fire protection. That in the opinion of the fire underwriters no effectual and permanent improvement can be expected or hoped for until the council provide a thoroughly competent chief of the fire brigade, and that the fire committee realize the necessity of having their orders obeyed.”