New Chief and Assistant Chief of Erie
Michael J. Cronin, the newly appointed chief of the Erie fire department, is a veteran of 22 years, he having served as assistant chief for the past eight years, during which time he practically ran the department, assuming supreme command at all fires. When the late Chief Duerner became incapacitated for duty. Assistant Chief Cronin was named acting chief.
His assistant, Michael P. Leonard has been the ranking captain of the department for years. As captain of headquarters company for a quarter of a century, Captain Leonard was virtually in command of the department the greater part of the time.
Michael J. Cronin joined the fire department on July 1, 1901, and five years later was made captain, commanding No. 5 house at the time it was opened for service. He remained as captain until August 26, 1915, when he was appointed assistant chief, the place being made vacant by the advancement of J. M. Duerner, who succeeded as chief, John J. McMahon, a martyr to duty during the flood of August 3 of that year.
Assistant Chief Leonard joined the department on January 1, 1891. Three years later he was made captain of the headquarters company, where he remained until becoming assistant chief. Chief Leonard is of the old school of firemen who fought blazes single handed. In the days when he was a more youthful fireman, Erie had no full paid department. The captain served oftentimes as driver and pipeman, along with the captaincy and it was not unusual for him to make a hitch, drive to a fire, lay his line and then take it into a burning building before aid came to him. But patience is its own reward and now’ “Mike” is wearing the crossed trumpets and the gold buttons that go with the office which was regarded as his, both from viewpoints of efficiency and service.
Fire Losses Heavier in Hartford, Conn.—The fire department of Hartford, Conn., during the six months from April 1 to October 1, was called upon to answer 119 more alarms this year than in the same period of last year and the fire loss was $10,000 more than in 1922. The total loss of the six months in 1923 was $58,687 and for 1922, $48,690. From April 1 to October 1, 1923, the department had 482 alarms as compared with 363 in the corresponding period of 1922.