PACIFIC COAST AND CANADIAN FIRE NOTES.

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.”

GATE HOUSE AND EMBANKMENT, SYRACUSE, N. Y.DRIVEWAY ON RESERVOIR, SYRACUSE, N. Y.

PACIFIC COAST AND CANADIAN FIRE NOTES

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PACIFIC COAST AND CANADIAN FIRE NOTES

YOUR correspondent visited several places on the Pacific coast recently and found a great deal to wonder at in connection with the various fire departments. Commencing with the largest city and ending with a “ boom town,” one is struck with the apathy, or utter recklessness, of the inhabitants. Imagine a large commercial city, the sixth largest in the United States, with apart full paid, part call, fire department. It is the intention to alter this state of affairs in a year or two; but the silver question overshadows everything in San Francisco at present. Chief Sullivan might talk fire department until he is black in the face; but the people are crazy on elections, and give no heed to his warnings. Portland, in Oregon, follows suit. A fire department that is good enough for San Francisco is plenty good enough for Portland. A radical change would upset the political machines, dumping a large number of friends of the “powers that be’’out on the streets. It is truly interesting to notice in both cities, the apparatus on the way to fires, with drivers and engineers only in attendance. After a while you see the “call” men flying along on bicycles, on foot, and in delivery wagons. When the “box” is in their district,they get a move on which would astonish a scorcher; when it is outside their district,they have time to answer roll call. Following on to Tacoma, Wash., one finds the chemical engines out of service. Ask the reason,and you are told that the city cannot find money enough to repair them. The men are clamoring for their pay, and the city, which claims a population of 30,000 souls, cannot afford to protect lives and property. Seattle, Wash., is better off; but a continual squabble is going on over the spoils of office. Farther down Puget Sound are Port Townsend and Port Angeles. The first mentioned has a volunteer department. The fire hydrants are sealed and the horses are used on the streets. Port Angeles was a boom town. F.mpty houses and stores are in evidence on all sides. A hose cart, truck, and 1.000 feet of hose are under the care of the chief, who depends on the citizens to form a brigade whenever the alarm rings. Ten per cent, is asked for insurance, with most of the companies out of town. Across the straits the city of Victoria, capital of the Province of Hritish Columbia, looms up with 20,000 inhabitants. Another part full paid, part call department is considered good enough, if it suits San F’rancisco and Portland. Gold and silver—minus Hryan and McKinley—is the craze in Hritish Columbia. People are investing in mines, and cannot find time to talk about protection against fire. Nanaimo, another city of Hritish Columbia, has a quarrel on hand with the volunteer firemen. The latter want an electric alarm system. The council cannot raise funds to purchase, and the firemen will hand the apparatus over in thirty days. Vancouver, a city of about 15,000 inhabitants, has twelve full paid firemen, working for starvation wages. The horses are used to draw street-sprinklers. New Westminster has ten firemen, who have been working for a month to protect the place from forest fires. Although one of the smallest places visited, the city of New Westminster is better equipped to withstand fire than many larger cities. With water in abundance, capable of throwing twenty streams at 100 pounds pressure at all hydrants, they also have a powerful fireboat and chemical engines, with steam fire engines in reserve Some years ago New Westminster had several lessons, which caused a feeling of insecurity to enter the heads of the authorities. The feeling is still there. Some day a similar feeling will make itself apparent in other communities. In all the cities and towns a complaint goes up from the firemen that the remuneration is curtailed year by year, until it reaches a figure so low that good men cannot remain in fire departments and support their families. It is a shame to expect men to risk their health and lives for a mere existence. It is unnecessary to point out the many trials and dangers attendant on the life of a fireman; but the people of the Pacific coast appear to ignore the brave defenders of their homes. Some day, when dire disaster stares them in the face, they will appreciate the services of the men who stand ready to face death itself to save lives and property.

T. D.

The employes of the Excelsior Needle Company. Torrington. Conn., have formed themselves into a hose company for the protection of the company’s property with the following officers: First lieutenant, Fred Jennings; second lieutenant, Fred Dodge; secretary. R. A. Wilman; treasurer. Mr. Barry. The borough authorities will accept the organization as a regularly organized fire company.