PACIFIC COAST FIRE CHIEFS IN CONVENTION.
The annual convention of the Pacific Coast Fire Chiefs met at Olympia, Wash., on September 22, with Fire Marshal Gardner Kellogg, of Seattle, Wash., president, in the chair. In the absence of the mayor Councilman J. H. Price welcomed the chiefs to the city, and was suitably replied to by President Kellogg. Their first session was interrupted by a bona fide fire alarm, the local fire department, under Chief Raymond making a very pretty run. A clambake followed. At the evening session Secretary Bringhurst read a paper by Christopher Clarke, of Northampton, Mass., on “Commonsense fire protection.” The next morning a discussion ensued on certain points of value from the paper—chiefly those refer ring to building construction, which ended by the passing of a resolution to the effect that in an ordinary non-fireproof, brick building heavy woodwork should he employed for posts or girders, and iron lintels. As to ranges: Chief Poyns favored— the convention agreeing with him—that all ranges should have at least two courses of brick underneath them, and sheet iron, besides, in many cases Little faith was reposed in asbestos. As to shutters: Those of ironclad wood were most favored, lapped and tacked on the edges, with no solder used, and wire glass was recommended for windows—especially skylights—in preference to ordinary glass with wire netting. A committee was also appointed to report on the best means of solving the elevator shafts problem with a view to having traps fixed in them to prevent them from acting as drafts for the flames in case of fire. Chief Cook spoke of the hazardous condition on the Seattle waterfront arising from the loading of high explosives, such as dynamite, etc., from train to boat. The same conditions Chief Watson said are met with at Victoria, B. C., in connection with the work on the Esquimault fortifications. City Electrician Joslyn, in view of the accompanying fire hazard, recommended that electric transformers filled with oil be not placed near buildings or in places where they can do damage in case of fire. A paper on “Fire department legislation and fire protection,” sent by President McNeill, of the North Carolina State Firemen’s association, was read, in which he showed the value of the law compelling all cities and towns to designate and employ a fire chief for the purpose of maintaining organised fire protection. The convention appointed a committee to report on the law with a view to suggesting local changes. On the third day wooden waterpipe was discussed. The use of such pipe was defended by Chief Poyns, of Tacoma, where are laid more miles of wooden pipe than in any city in the world, and with very satisfactory results. Chief Raymond stood up for the long life of the Olympia made wooden pipe, and the city engineer of Tacoma said it would practically never rot unless exposed to the air, while it was nearly half as expensive as iron pipe. The convention seemed to favor pipe made of good timber and spirally banded with iron strips as more serviceable than cast iron pipe. Capt. Brophy had contributed a paper on the Boston auxiliary salt water system, which has been adopted in part at Ballard, where 8,300 feet of eight-inch pipe gives a satisfactory service from thirty hydrants. The matter of an improved fireproof building material called “poured concrete” was discussed, and there was likewise a discussion. Chief Watson leading, on electrical pumps. On the last day of the convention, which was well attended by chiefs from as far north as Winnipeg and Calgary, N. W. T., and as far south as Redlands, Cal., Vancouver, B. C.. was unanimously chosen as the next place of meeting, and the following officers were elected: President. Chief James Smart, Calgary, N. W. T.; vicepresidents. Chief J. H. Carlyle. Vancouver, B. C.; Chief J. E., Brown, Vancouver, B. C.: Chief Fred H. Kelly, Wallace, Idaho; Chief Withee, Pendleton, Ore.; secretary, H. W. Bringhurst. Seattle. Wash.; treasurer, W. B. Raymond, Olympia, Wash. The discussions during the afternoon were on standpipes and reservoirs, combination hose and chemical wagons and ordinary chemical engines, the proper protection of elevator shafts and staircases, and the use of glass for windows. Among the exhibits were the Corey hydrants, wire glass, the Racine fire extinguisher, and the Gamewell fire alarm telegraph system. A paper by Prof. Lewes, of the Royal Naval Academy at Greenwich, England, was also read. It dealt with the science of fire in all its phases and of its prevention and extinguishing. The exemption of volunteer firemen from poll and road taxes and jury duty was also discussed.