Murphysboro Fire Report for Eight Months
Chief Albert Herring, of the Murphysboro, Ill., fire department, has made a report to the mayor and commissioners of the city, the report covering the period from May 12, 1914 to January 1, 1915. The report is in part as follows: “Apparatus in service: One-combination chemical and hose wagon, with a 40-gallon chemical tank, 200-foot chemical hose, two 3-gallon chemicals, one fire king, 5-gallon one smoke mask, one search light, pike pole, plaster hook, 100foot rope, one life line, on extension ladder, two roof ladders, axes, lanterns, electric lights, crowbar, door opener, three straight play pipes, two cut off nozzles and carries 100 feet of fire hose. One chief’s motor car, 22 horse power equipped with two three-gallon chemicals, one pyrene extinguisher, one electric search light, one ax, weed chains for all tires, one 6-80 ampere battery for electric lights, one clock and six electric lights on car, one electric horn, one American-La France engine, with 20 feet of 4-inch suction hose and one Siamese coupling for same. Engine only answers second alarms. The department has at the present time 1,700 feet of fire hose, cotton rubber lined. 1,000 feet is in good condition. During the past year we have turned over to the street department 700 feet of old hose. We are short on hose. We have two horses in service in the fire department. We have 109 plugs in service for the city, and 8 private plugs, also for fire service. All plugs are in good condition. Plugs are looked after by the fire chief and men from the water company. The money appropriated for fire department was $5,000 and the expenditures for fire service, $3,022. Balance, $1,977.97. The number of fires was 58 and the number of alarms, 62; false alarms, 4; alarms to investigate for fire, 1; calls out of the city, 1. The number of calls from 6 A. M. to 6 P. M. was 40 and from 6 P. M. to 6 A. M., 21. Causes of fires and alarms included: Hot sparks, 11; coal oil stoves, 2; gasoline, 3; not known, 4; children and matches, 5. Classes of buildings where fire originated were: One-story frame dwellings, 14; two-story frame dwellings, 11; two-story brick business houses, 2; one-story frame business houses, 2; two-story frame business house, 1; frame buildings used as a barn, 7; frame cut buildings, 2; iron clad buildings, storage, 3. Loss on buildings and contents, $8,064.50; property and contents at stake, $56,010. In answering the alarms of fire the department traveled 44 miles; the amount of large fire hose used, 9,550 fefet; number of gallons of chemical used, 797; number of feet of ladders used, 340. So far this year we have handled 90 per cent, of all fires with chemical. In the past year we have had a wonderful change in the water system of our city. From the fire service standpoint, the replacing of 4-inch water mains with 6and 8-inch mains and the bringing together of the dead ends, by extending the water mains and the placing of some new plugs, gave fire protection to many of our citizens’ homes that have not had fire protection before. The water pressure has been increased wonderfully in all parts of the city.” The chief’s recommendations are: That the city purchase some new fire hose, the placing of a water plug at the corner of 13th and Maning Streets, that the firemen’s sleeping room be papered and rewired for new electric lights; the wiring is old and dangerous, and that the fireman be allowed 24 hours off duty every seventh day, and in conclusion the report says: “You will note the amount of calls we have had on account of hot sparks, grass and rubbish fires; will say the reason of them is, we had such a long dry summer and fall. You will also notice a falling off of fires in the homes, caused by carelessness, and also from the use of gasoline and coal oil. We have had only 3 fires caused by gasoline, against 9 gasoline fires last year and not a fire caused by starting a fire in a stove with coal oil this year, so far, against 7 last year, which all goes to show that the citizens, as well as the firemen, have fire prevention in mind at all times. I have made 278 inspections this past fall and winter of flues, attics, basements and heating appliances. The school children of our city made some 500 inspections of their homes for me for which I gave three cash prizes tor the three best reports.