More Fires; Smaller Loss in New York.
In his report to Fire Commissioner Hayes for the year 1908, for the boroughs of Manhattan, The Bronx and Richmond, Fire Marshall Peter Seery states that the total number of fires was 8,612; total estimated loss, $6,197,893; average loss, $717.18. These figures represent an increase of 163 fires over the number for the year 1907, but a decrease in the total loss of $227,334, and a decrease in the average of $40.40 per fire. In the extent of losses, 3,057 fires caused damage less than $10; 3,182 fires damages between $10 and $100; 1,906 fires damages between $100 and $1,000; 339 fires damages between $1,000 and $50,000. The number of arrests for arson or suspected incendiarism for the year was ninetyfive. Of these fifty-live were acquited. One thousand one hundred and twelve fires in Manhattan were caused by careless handling of matches. The report points out that thoughtless mothers often leave their children alone with matches in their reach, and adds that for at least 371 of the conflagrations enumerated, mothers were morally responsible for loss of life. The careless use of lighted cigars and cigarettes comes next in line to the match danger.