NOTES FROM BOSTON.
BOSTON, May 18, 1896.
During the past seven months the suburbs of Boston, particularly Cambridge and Somerville, have been specially afflicted with an epidemic of incendiary fires. Buildings of almost every class, including churches have been attacked. The fire in the Wood Memorial church was set while services were being held in the vestry, and in this case, had the firebugs been as successful as in others, loss of life would have been likely to occur. As has already been pointed out, the fires recurred with a strange regularity and had always made great headway at the time of discovery, particularly at Cambridge,where during the past winter Tuesday night after 9 o’clock was the time for the blazes. The unusual spread of the fires led to the belief that liquid combustibles were used; and it turns out that oi was used in some cases, but not in all.
Fire Marshal Whitcomb has long been at his wits’ end to discover the firebug; but, with the assistance of one of the Waltham police, his department has been at last successful in arresting William II. Daley and William T. Reid, both of Cambridge, one twenty years old and the other eighteen. Each has confessed his crime and to these young lads is due the destruction of something over $1,500,000 worth of property. The fires set by these boys began in August, 1895, and continued up to the night of May 11 of this year. The list includes the abbatoir and stockyard fires at Brighton, and the Allen & Endicott, the Wood and the Gale lumber-yard fire, the Wood Memorial church in Cambridge, and several barn fires in Watertown and Waltham. Besides confessing to all these fires, Daley has admitted setting the big fires which wiped out the Holt & Bugbee lumber yard in Cambridge two years ago. Their custom seems to have been to go to the scene of operations upon their bic)c!es and leave in the same way. They made a liberal use of kerosene oil and other combustibles. Ofteslime* they pulled in the alarm for the fire alarm thetnsi Ives. Do lev had a key to the fire-alarm box. It was one of the new keys,which,once inserted, cannot be taken out until the alarm has ceased ringing.