Municipal Fire Carelessness
While it is true that a very large percentage of fires is caused by carelessness, it is not always the carelessness of the child or the private citizen. There are times when municipal authorities must bear the blame, as was the case at a fire that recently caused destruction of property valued at nearly $150,000. The building damaged was a costly residence in New York City, situated on Riverside Drive, close to the North River. At the foot of a nearby street, on the river bank, the city has established a dump, and while rubbish was being burned there, a high wind blowing at the time carried brands to considerable distances. There seems little room to doubt, from attendant circumstances, that one of these flaming brands alighted on the roof of the dwelling and set it on fire, as a passer-by discovered flames shooting from the roof at the same time that a burning piece of wood was dropped at his feet from the direction of the rubbish fire at a dump. It would seem that the officials in any town or city, large or small, could make some provision for safer disposition of rubbish than to burn it in the immediate vicinity of dwellings, whether of the $150,000 variety or the $1,500.