PACIFIC COAST AND CANADIAN FIRE NOTES.
(From our own correspondent)
SAN FRANCISCO, October 4, 1896.
Forest fires destroyed two small towns on Skeena river, in British Columbia. The places were almost deserted, and the loss will be very light. Several other towns are surrounded by fierce fires. The weather continues fine, and, unless the rain falls soon, a number of settlements, including a town occupied by Norwegian colonists, will be wiped out. Smoke fills the air in every direction, and two British war vessels were damaged through running on rocks while feeling their way around Vancouver Inland.—The fire commissioners of San Francisco applied to the board of supervisors for funds to purchase four new steam fire engines.—Chief Ackerman, of New Westminster, B. C., was badly injured recently. He was thrown from a bicycle while riding to one of the forest fires which threatened the city.—The voters of San Francisco will give their verdict on the new charter in November. If the measure is carried, the Bay City will have a full-paid fire department.—James Feenan, a well borer, is suffering intense pain at the Receiving hospital in Oakland, Cal., as a result of being almost roasted alive while asleep in his Berkeley home. He was awakened from a sound sleep to find himself lying in a bed of flames. His little pet dog, Dell, saved his life. The dog was sleeping in the bedroom, and, discovering the fire, set up a howl, plunged through the flames,and tugged away at his master’s hand until Feenan was aroused. He was about to give the faithful animal a slap,when he suddenly realized his perilous situation. When aroused by his dog, Feenan jumped out of his bed of fire just in time to save himself from death. His nightclothes were in flames. He seized a bucket of water and threw it over himself; but it was not sufficient to quench the flames. Then he rushed into the yard, turned on the water from a faucet and fell prostrate beneath the stream. In a few seconds the flames were extinguished. The firemen had a narrow escape from the explosion of giant powder.— Chief Kellogg, of Seattle, Wash., recommended the dismissal of Assistant Chief Allen and the appointment of ex-Chief Cook to fill the vacancy. As usual in such cases, Allen demurred, but the chief was sustained and the changes made as recommended. Allen will appeal to the courts.—The l’eralta hose company of Berkeley, Cal., presented Robert F. Ellison with a handsome silver badge for rescuing their house from flames on the morning of the 4th of September.—A fire in the armory at Spokane, Wash., caused a loss estimated at $13,000 on the 9th of September.—The report of the board of underwriters of San Francisco for the month of August shows that the fire losses on the Pacific coast amounted to $353,432 for the first eight months of the year, as against $2,835,100 in 1895, and $3,334,900 in 1894. For San Fran cisco the losses during the last month, according to the Pacific underwriters’ computation, were $11,476 on buildings,$15,453 on contents, making a total of $26,929. In the rest of California the losses on buildings were $122,948, and on contents, $103,915, a total of $228,863.—The firemen of Alameda, Cal., attended a banquet tendered by Citizen hook and ladder company cm their twentieth anniversary.—Since the organization of the fire department in 1880 there have been but two chief engineers, the incumbent, Fred K. Krauth, jr., and William T. Valentine, who, together with Foreman Barton, were active firemen in the San Francisco volunteer department before making their homes in Alameda. Barton, Millington, and Krauth are the only charter members now remaining on the company’s active roll, and all three can still respond when the fire alarm bells sound.— A. A. Andrews has opened a supply house on Main street, Winnipeg. Mr. Andrews is the representative for the Provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia for the Gutta Percha and Rubber Manufacturing Company,of Toronto.—Winnipeg has purchased 1,000 feet of Maltese Cross hose, six new alarm boxes, and rubber coats for the fire department. In future the firemen will wear aluminum helmets.—The fire loss in Victoria, B. C., for .the nine months ending September 30, amounts to $9,300. This is considered small for a city of 20,000 inhabitants.—Former Chief Cook, of the Seattle fire department has accepted the position of assistant chief under his successor. Chief Kellogg. It may appear strange for a deposed official to accept a position under the officer that succeeded him; but Chief Cook was placed in the position contrary to his wishes. In a majority of cases the office of assistant chief is devoid of the cares and worries of the responsible head and a man is more likely to retain it. When politicians attack the head of a department, the assistant is usually allowed to remain unmolested.—The forest fires are dying out on the Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia coasts. Recent rains cleared the atmosphere of smoke. A number of wreck occurred on the waters of Puget Sound, due to the dense smoke.—The Argus of San Francisco points out that, since Chief Sullivan, of that city’s fire department, inaugurated a harness and blanket making department “a saving of 100 per cent, is shown in hose covers, blankets, and all other articles, caused by purchasing the material wholesale and making the articles initead of as formerly having the articles supplied even by the lowest bidder, as then they were not always of the best quality as called for.”