FIRE department matters have been a little slow of late, and there has been a dearth of interesting news. There have been only eight alarms this month, and the total loss will not exceed $10,000, mostly covered by insurance.

The “fire bug,” after lying dormant for two months, got his work in on the night of the 21st inst., but fortunately his attempt was far from successful. The building fired was a large three-story frame structure, known for years as the Metropolitan Hotel, one of the old land marks of the city, and had just been vacated. It was fired in three places, in the basement, second story and store-room on the third floor. Hay was strewn on the stairways and along the halls, but the prompt work of the fire department saved the building and an adjoining lumber yard. From evidence in the hands of the chief, it is more than probable that arrests will be made in a few days connecting two parties with the fire ; unfortunately, arson is one of the hardest things to prove, no matter how strong the circumstantial evidence.

There is considerable feeling among the owners of the different hotels, opera houses and buildings of three stories and over, as the law relating to fire escapes is being strictly enforced by Chief Newbury, and several buildings have made arrangements to put up stand-pipes—among others, the fine granite six-story and basement building, known as the “ Burr block.” Benner & Co. of Chicago will put up the fire escape, and the halls will be furnished with hose racks, hose and nozzles. The building is the finest in the city, and would be a credit either to New York or Chicago, costing over $130,000.


The streets are being paved with concrete and cedar blocks, which is especially appreciated by the firemen.

The chief was informed to-day that the fire department fund was at “ low tide ” and no means to “ raise it.” By some poor legislation the fire department only receives thfee mills of the tax, and by an oversight of the council no appropriation was made to cover the expense of new apparatus, hose, etc.; consequently, all supplies purchased during the last part of 1886, and so far this year, have been paid for out of our salary fund. What the outcome will be is hard to say, as after this month the men will not be able to get a cent until next August, unless they discount the city’s I. O. U. for twenty-five or thirty per cent. The outlook is far from encouraging, as the city has grown so rapidly and spread over so much territory that we need at least three more hose companies and a new hook and ladder truck. But this city, like many others, needs a severe scorching to awaken it to the needs of the fire department and the importance of proper protection against the flames. LINCOLN.

LINCOLN, NEB., October 28.

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