Greatest Number of Fires in Brownsville Section of Brooklyn—Per Capita Fire Loss Is $2.80 — roperty Valuations Increase


THE statistical report of the Bureau of Fire, New York Fire Department, for the year 1929 has been completed by George Lynch, statistician in the office of the Chief of Department and forwarded to Fire Commissioner John J. Dorman to be incorporated in the annual report of the department for the year 1929, soon to go to press. It shows that last year there were 40,121 alarms of fire, an increase of 7,022 over 1928; false and unnecessary alarms amounted to 10,398, an increase of 3,248; actual fires totalled 29,723, an increase of 3,774; fires in buildings 17,144, an increase of 1,805; fires in vessels 181, an increase of 33; and miscellaneous fires 12,398, an increase of 1,936.

The statistical report indicates that losses by fire last year amounted to $16,944,030, an increase of $369,649 over 1928, in the boroughs of Bronx and Richmond only—the other boroughs showing a decrease.

The record indicates an assessed valuation of property in the city of $17,134,017,310 for the year, an increase of $1,288,304,861; also an increase of 46,782 in population or a total of 6,064,484; an increase of 34,907 buildings or a total of 637,527.

The only item in the report that does not show some sort of fluctuation is the area of the city—201,446 acres or 314.75 square miles.

Of the 29,723 fires 91 percent or 27,044 were confined to the point of origin, an increase of 3,998 over 1928; 479 fires extended to other buildings, an increase of 84; 5,213 fires occurred between 6 a. m. and noon; 10,869 occurred between noon and 6 p. m.; 9,789 occurred between 6 p. m. and midnight and 3,852 occurred between midnight and 6 a. m.

Of the 40,121 alarms received, 29,723 were for actual fires; 2,343 were unnecessary and 8,055 were false, an increase of 3,017 over the year 1928. Of the 8,055 false alarms, 7,598 were sent in from street boxes, an increase of 2,987 over the year previous. This in great measure is due to the extension of the spade-handle-single-action-door type of box which has proven very convenient for the malicious false alarm fiend.

New York fire fighters threw 103,873,733 gallons of salt and fresh water on fires last year, an increase of 17,862,243 over the year 1928.

The loss in New York last year averaged $2.80 per capita, an increase of four cents per capita over the year 1928. The losses by boroughs indicate decreases in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens and increases in the Bronx and in Richmond, as follows:

Under the heading of classification of buildings in which fires occurred last year, there is an indicated increase of 35 fires or fifty per cent over 1928 in clubs, dance halls and lodge rooms; tenement houses as usual lead the list with 7,677 fires, an increase of 576 for the year. Of the 7,677 fires in tenements the cellar holds stellar position with 2,107 as the point of origin and 1,941 originated on the first or ground floor, due principally to the presence of stores. There were 1,271 fires in kitchens of tenement houses.

The Brownsville section of Brooklyn (44th battalion) again leads with the greater number of fires for the year, a total of 1,360, an increase of 54 over the year 1928; the 15th battalion district in the northern extremities of the Bronx is next with 1,332 fires; the 50th battalion district in the heart of Jamaica is third in the list with 1,176 fires; the 12th battalion district in Harlem had 1,158 fires; the 41st battalion in Flatbush had 1,157 fires; the 18th battalion in Fordham had 1,041 fires; the 20th battalion in the mid-east Bronx had 1,023 fires; the 9th battalion in the theatrical and hotel district had 953 fires; the 11th battalion in the mid-west Manhattan section had 948 fires; the 10th battalion in the Yorkville section had 941 fires; the 16th battalion in Harlem’s colored neighborhood had 880 fires; the 17th battalion in the centrally populated part of the Bronx had 876 fires, the 4th battalion in the Ghetto of old Manhattan had 868 fires and the 35th battalion in the central part of Brooklyn had 831 fires for the year.

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