News from State of Georgia
City Council of Savannah has increased the salary of Chief of Fire Department John H. Monroe from $3,000 to $3,600.
The Augusta fire department, under command of Chief Frank G. Reynolds, answered three alarms recently, which threatened to be serious fires. Flames were discovered in the handsome old colonial home used by the commandant at the United States Arsenal as his residence, said to have started from a defective flue. The volunteer fire department of the arsenal immediately responded, but seeing the seriousness of the fire sent in an alarm from box 554, which was answered by three motor pumpers, one motor service truck and one motor chemical under the command of Chief Reynolds. The flames where immediately brought under control, and which prevent a greater loss. The same week fire was discovered in the large storage warehouse of Pope & Fleming where 80 bales of upland cotton was damaged. Quick work of the local department prevented a greater loss, which probably would have destroyed the entire warehouse, which is located in the heart of Augusta’s famous “cotton row” where thousands of bales of the fleecy staple are stored. Another cotton fire occurred the day following at the Atlantic States Compress & Warehouse Company, plant located in the southern section of the city, which destroyed 250 bales of cotton. The large fire walls and sprinkler system with hard work of the three local companies saved the entire plant from destruction. The plant is one of the largest of its kind in this section of the state. Chief Reynolds and the Augusta fire department were highly complimented in their work at these three fires in holding down the losses, which in all amount to about $10,000. So far this year the Augusta fire losses are much lower than several other cities in the state.
Warrants were sworn out at Tifton, Ga., recently by State Fire Marshal Albert Sharpe after an investigation covering a period of two weeks, where Duncan L. Willis and Ben P. Willis, brothers, are held under bond of $6,000 each to answer the charge of arson in regard to several fires recently at Tifton. The marshal also holds a confession made by Nick Willis, made in the office of the sheriff of Tiff County, in the presence of the sheriff, his two deputies and a stenographer. The officers state that the confession was voluntary, and was sworn to by Nick Willis after reciting the different cases of incendiarism in detail. Willis says he was induced to set fire to the house of Duncan Willis in order to get the insurance which they were to divide; he also states he was told to put kerosene on the soles of his shoes, so the tracking dogs could not follow him. On the house an insurance policy of $1,800 had been taken out two weeks before the fire, on which Willis collected $1,100. In another case, a country residence under construction for B. P. Willis was burned fifteen days after on which an insurance policy for $2,500 had been taken and $1,400 was collected this time. It is alleged that between $7,000 and $8,000 had been collected by these parties in insurance premiums, and that the practice had become so common that they used a phrase, “Selling out to the Yankees,” to describe it. It is understood that in one large city in the state, a blaze of considerable size was lately investigated with results that one of the prominent men of the place was given the chance of waiving the two insurance policies on the stock or of submitting to the service of a criminal warrant. The two policies were waived.