Pertinent Fire Paragraphs.
After a long fight to extinguish the flames from a burning gasolene tank near Berlin, four of the firemen, all strong and in good health, suddenly lost all their hair, and despite the efforts of physicians to stimulate regrowth, their hair did not commence to grow again until four months later, and then it was snow white on all four. The only possible exlpanation was that the fumes from the burning gasolene, per haps mixed with fumes of some other substance burned, exerted a deadly influence on the roots of the hair.
The inhabitants of Chinatown, New York City, are sorrowful because of the interference of the fire department with their roasting of pigs in the approved style discovered centuries ago in the Middle Flowery Kingdom. They are vainly trying to learn why they are not allowed to follow the recipe of their famous ancestor, Ho-Ti. For many days the Chinese have been holding roast pig barbecues against the rear wall of No. 17 Doyers street, but recently the report that frequent fires were occurring in Chinatown reached the ears of Commissioner Johnson and he sent Assistant Foreman Anthony J. Stewart to tell the Orientals that the barbecues must cease. The Chinese protested and said “No understlan,” but to no avail. The order was imperative.
The cities of Somerville and Cambridge. Mass., run together, which often causes some breach of etiquette between the employes of either place. This was shown a short time ago when a report was made to Chief Rich, of the former city, that Lieutenant John T. Conceny, of his department, and Assistant Fire Chief James M. Casey, of Cambridge, which arose last Friday, when both departments answered an alarm for a fire in the stable of Thomas Aldham at 81 Clarendon avenue, dose to the dividing line of the cities. Lieutenant Coneeny’s men had hose playing before the arrival of Assistant Chief Casey, who, when he saw there was no hope of saving the stable, told Coneeney to play on the house and L adjourning. Coneeny paid no attention to the order, hence the report to Chief Rich. The fire caused $800 damage.
The following from Bay City, Mich., is a very familiar story: “The bay towns of Oscoda and Au Sable, each at the month of the Au Sable river and having a combined population of 1.800, are in ashes, while such of its inhabitants as have not escaped on board the steamer Kongo or the Detroit and Macinac relief trains, are shelterless in the swamps and fields about the still burning towns. The heaviest loser is II. M. Loud Sons’ Company, at nearly $750,000. Its property consists of two sawmills, planing mills, shingle mill, holt mill, lumber yard, cedar yard, pump houses, Mores and residences. The total loss is probably in excess of $1,500,000. The fire originated in a slab yard in Oscoda and in half an hour the fire had spread over the town. The fire quickly jumped the An Sable river and soon An Sable also was in the grip of a blaze that reached the town limits on every side.”
There was a fire in the New York factory district a few weeks ago which developed a considerable weakness in the automatic sprinkler equipment. It appears from an inspector’s report that the fire probably started on several floors at the same time, consequently many heads operated— 52 in alland the primary supply was soon exhausted “The sergeant of the fire patrol says the sprinklers held the fire in check on different floors of the building. The alarm bell either did not ring or was not heard to ring before the fire had been discovered. An interesting point in this fire is that the tops of the elevator shafts contained no sprinkler heads. Numerous heads on the top floor opened in locations where there was no tire, evidently from blasts of hot air. Although the fire doors were closed to the elevator shafts, the fire experienced little difficulty in entering the building by means of wooden lintels over the doorways.”
Tom Baird, first assistant fire chief. Fresno, Cal., is reported to be in a serious condition as the result of inhaling fumes from burning sulphuric acid in the fire which gutted the Southern Pacific depot a short time ago. Baird directed his men from the roof of the building and did a great deal of hard work on the second floor where the fire started. The origin was from sulphuric acid which had been spilled on the floor from an overturned battery jar Chief Wintermute has applied for six additional permanent men reducing the number of call men in the department nine. His annual report shows that the department answered 186 alarms during the past year. The seven engine houses are in good condition save Engine No. 2. which needs a new floor and Chemicals 1 and 3 which demand painting, plastering and re-flooring. Report was made on the horses, apparatus, hose and personnel of the department. There are 236 hydrants all in good shape, though considerable trouble has been had with them as everybody uses them as they see fit, leaving them usually in bad shape.
The Pueblo (Co.) Star prints a letter from C. V. . Roberts, president of the Roberts Manufacturing Company correcting a statement made in its columns to the effect that George VV. Fuller, chief engineer of New York, was in the employ of the company. Mr. Roberts’ letter says:
“It might he infered that Mr. Fuller had at one time been in the employ of the Roberts Filter Manufacturing Company, and to correct such an inference being drawn I wish to advise you that Mr. Fuller is not now and has never been employed in any capacity by the company, of which I am the head, nor did said company, or any member thereof, employ Mr. Fuller as consulting engineer for the New Orleans plant. He was employed in that capacity by the city of New Orleans or the authorities that had the matter in hand. While the Roberts Filter Manufacturing Company has in the past done work under Mr. Fuller as consulting or supervising engineer, he was never in our employ in that or any other capacity. We feel that you should make this correction in justice to Mr. Fuller, who stands very high in his profession.”
Fight firemen were painfully injured in a fire on July 23, at Toledo, O., which totally destroyed the four buildings of the B. A. Stevens Company, Erie, Lucas and Vance streets, manufacturers of billiard and pool fixtures and barroom supplies, and eight dwellings and frame store rooms. The total damage is estimated at $325,000. The loss on the B. A Stevens plant is estimated at $300,000, with insurance amounting to $200,000. How the fire started is not known. Shortly after 0 a. m., watchman John Friemarks, going into the planing mill, noticed a small blaze near one of the planes. He immediately turned in an alarm. The flames spread through the brick buildings with great rapidity. Many of the firemen turned their attention to adjoining structures, blit the heat of the blazing factory furnace was too great for them and one by one the frame structures became victims to the fire. In half a dozen of the frame houses resided families who saved but small portions of their goods in their haste to escape The walls on the Erie and the Lucas streets sides fell in within an hour after the fire was discovered. Flying brick and glass injured a number of the firemen. Two violent explosions followed the breaking out of the fire. It is thought that polish used in the manufacture of the company’s articles caused this.
The annual convention of the Tri-County Firemen’s Association, comprising the volunteer tircmaniac organizations of the counties of Herkimer, Montgomery and Fulton, N. Y., was held in Gloversville, July 3. The morning session, called to order bv President Henry Yops, of Fort Plain, included the usual welcoming address and response and the transaction of routine business. Rev. Irvine Goddard, rector of Christ Episcopal Church of Gloversville. pronounced the invocation, following which Mayor Wesley M. Rorst. of the glove city, extended the welcome of the city to the visiting delegates. Glenn Steele, of Herkimer, made the response, after which former Assemblyman W. Ellison Mills, of Gloversville, made an address on “The Old Volunteers.” Reports were made by the committees on credentials, resolutions and audits, following which reports of officers were submitted. The election of officers resulted as follows: President, F.. H. Croffnian. Canajoharie; first vice-president. Charles E. Yarile, Mohawk: second vice-president. Arthur Rradt, Johnstown : third vice-president, Augustus Miller, Canajoharie; secretary, Silas I Hoffman, St. Johnsville: treasurer, Oswald Clayton, Ilion; statistician, E A. Steele Ilion; Alexander McCoy, of Herkimer, was elected delegate to the state firemen’s convention, and Chief R. A. Maxson, of Gloversville was named as his alternate. At the evening session, St. Johnsville was voted as the convention town for 1912. Following the afternoon session, the delegates, 150 in number, attended the Family Theater as the guests of the local committee.
A conflagration which started July 23 in Constantinople, Turkey, continued for two days, by which time the flames were gotten under control, but practically because there was no further fuel in their path. The disaster was the greatest since the great fire in Pera, the European quarter, in 1870. It is believed that the fire was the work of political incendiaries. It broke out simultaneously at several points in Stambul, the ancient city, while the people were celebrating with festivities the anniversary of the granting of the new constitution. The most formidable blaze flared up near the ministry of war, and was borne by a strong north wind through the residential section of the southern coast. From the square in front of the war ministry east of the center of Stambul to the Sea of Marmora on the south, practically nothing was left standing. Two square miles of the city was devastated. It is roughly estimated that over 5,090 houses were destroyed. The greater number of these were wooden buildings, but several important stone structures were ruined. The European quarter across the Golden Horn to the north and east was at no time in danger, owing to the contrary direction of the wind. Stambul, having the Sea of Marmora on the south and the Bosphorus on the east, with the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus on the north, has a sea front of eight miles. On the west it is walled. This district contains the Seraglio, the Sultan’s palace, the principal mosques, the Mausoleums, the public offices, the baths and the bazaars and the remains of ancient Constantinople. Here chiefly reside the Turks, Jews, Armenians and Greeks.
A fire marshal at a salary of $3,000 a year, who shall have authority to summon witnesses and compel the production of books and papers, and who may hold hearings either public or private, as he sees fit, is the remedy proposed for fire prevention in St. Louis, Mo„ by the joint committee of the council and the house of delegates appointed to investigate conditions and suggest revisions of the present ordinances. Ten bills were introduced in both branches of the municipal assembly by the joint committee recently. The first of these bills provided for the creation of the office of fire marshal. The marshal’s duties as set forth in the hill shall he to investigate the origin of all fires and report the presence of crime to the proper officers. The hills call for an inspection of all buildings of three or more stories by the fire chief or a member of the department at least once every six months. They make imperative inspection of school houses, churches, sanitariums, hotels, hoarding houses and lodging houses. The building commissioner receives power to enter any building at reasonable hours for inspection purposes. The bills make it compulsory to erect concrete walls around all oil tanks, unless they are buried. This feature of the new ordinances was suggested by the fatal explosion at the plant of the Bell Oil Company, in North St. Louis. The oil men argued in public hearings that the construction of concrete walls would he a useless expenditure, but it was the opinion of the committee that the walls would prevent the fire from spreading if tanks exploded. The proposed ordinances require all gasolene tanks to he underground, and permits to erect storage tanks must be obtained from the building commissioner. A maximum fine of $500 is provided for violations of the tank code. The building commissioner and fire chief are authorized to compel the equipping of tenement houses with fire escapes. Frame buildings must he covereed with tile, slate, tin or other noncombustible material. Piles of straw, shavings, rags or other combustible material are not allowed to he left outside buildings without being covered, and hay must be kept in fireproof buildings, with the exception of stables where it is being fed and then not more than 500 hales at a time will he allowed. As a result of the planing mill fires the bills require that piles of lumber must not be more than 20 feet high.
D. W. Benner has been appointed chief of the Kyle, Tex., fire department.