PARKE, DAVIS & CO.’S PRIVATE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
DETROIT, MICH , is in every way a go-ahead city, and not least in the line of fire protection. Its municipal fire department under Chief Kendall is a model in every respect, while the private fire department of Parke, Davis & Co., which has previously been described at full length in FIRE AND WATER (July 30, 1898), is equally worthy of admiration. Elsewhere in this impression will be found a paper from the pen of Leon C. Fink, chief of that department on the subject of ‘Fire in drug stores,” on which comment has been made in the editorial columns this week, and in this article are sub joined a few details as to the additions lately made to the department; descriptions (illustrated) of the plant protected by the department; and other particulars as to the firm’s disinterested care for the fire protection of Detroit outside of its own premises, which should not fail to stimulate other business men and manufacturers in an extensive scale in that and other cities to go and do likewise.
It will be remembered that this private fire department was organized in 1892,and that its members are thoroughly drilled and all its officers experienced firemen. Notwithstanding the vastamount of inflammable and explosive matter contained within the extensive limits of the company, not one single fire has ever been allowed to pass beyond the control of the department, which is ably commanded by Chief Leon C Fink assisted by James W. Tonge, and a perfectly organized corps of officers and men.
It may be noticed that the descriptive article concerning the Parke, Davis & Co., fire depart, ment which appeared in FIRF. AND WATER, July 30. 1898, has been copied, with some modifications, in several prominent drug journals throughout the country, including “The American Druggist,” published in New York, “The National Druggist ” published in St. Louis, “The Pharmaceutical Era,” published in New York, “The New England Druggist” published in Boston, etc. Parke, Davis & Company’s fire department facilities have since been materially increased by the instalment of a complete sprinkler and hydrant outfit, with proper accessories. As the department now stands, the fighting force is divided into a hose battalion, an extinguisher battalion a ladder company, an auxiliary and notification company, and a regular night patrol —all under the direction of the chief, assistant chief, and five captains. Theequipraent includes a complete electric alarm system and night patrol register connected with a switchboard in the chief’s office; also a system of 5,000 automatic sprinklers, with alarm attachments, sixty-five chemical extinguishers, and several lines of two and one-half-inch hose. Water pressure is maintained constantly night and day in the many thousand feet of underground and overhead pipes which constitute the entire system. An ample supply of water is provided through aneleva’ed tank, holding 20,000 gallons, and powerful pumps,capable of throwing 2,000 gallons per minute. The buildings are protected at points of danger by several hundred fireproof doors and shutters. Every precaution in the form of apparatus to prevent, control, and extinguish fire has been provided, and a high degree of discipline is maintained to protect the valuable plant, which is also connected by a city alarm box with the municipal fire department.
As an extra precaution Parke, Davis & Co., looking to the fact of an appropriation of $73,000 having been granted for the building of a new fireboat (now in course of construction), have placed at the disposal of the fire commissioners of this city a mooring place for the boat and a piece of land on which to build a suitable house for the accommodation of its crew. In a few months, therefore, the new boat or the Detroiter—the boat already in service—will be permanently located directly in front of the firm’s laboratory buildings—a view of which is given herewith. That this new fireboat has been added to the city’s fire department is due in no small degree to the efforts of of Chief Leon C. Fink, of the Parke, Davis & Co.’s fire department, who drew up and published for general distribution “Ten good reasons for providing another fireboat in the city of Detroit as soon as possible ”
The accompanying views of the manufacturing plants of the Parke, Davis company will give some idea of the necessity of the maintenance of such a fire department as is kept up by the firm. Unlike many birdseye views of manufacturing plants, the one accompanying this article is not exaggerated in the least, as will readily be perceived from the following details: The long, one-story building In the middle foreground is brick, with an iron roof 126 by thirtytwo feet, and is exclusively devoted to storing during working hours over 500 bicycles belonging to as many employes. The two gable-roofed houses some distance to the right are respectively designed for the manufacture of combustible compounds and the storage of inflammable chemicals, and are of iron construction. The square brick building beyond comprises the stables for horses used in the trucking done by the firm and is forty-eight by forty-eight feet in size. The main building occupies the whole block bounded by Atwater and Guiou streets and Jos.Campau and McDougal avenues. It is 518 by 201 feet in size with a court in the centre. Across Guion street and stretching from Jos. Campau to McDougal avenues, is a three-story brick addition sixty feet deep by 118 feet in length. Back of this is a three-story brick building, 180 by sixty feet, in which some of the capsules marketed by Parke. Davis & Co. are manufactured. Over to the extreme right are shown the twin buildings of the biological department. Each of these buildings is 163 by 153 feet in size. The plant covers three entire city squares and part of a fourth. The new annex is 518 feet by sixty feet.