Philadelphia Fire Bureau Inquiry
GENERAL NEWS FEATURES
By the expiration of the Philadelphia 1913 city council, the first of the New Year, the fire department and fire prevention bureaus investigation was left unfinished and will not come up again unless by a special order of the new council. Powell Evans, chairman of the Fire Prevention Commission who, according to local newspapers, was openly charged with using firemen for inspection duty in obtaining information which would enable him to sell fire sprinklers, testified that his firm was engaged in the business of selling sprinklers and that he could see no impropriety in being head of a sprinkler manufacturing company and also chairman of the fire prevention commission. He also testified that his firm had not put any sprinklers on the market, but was waiting until the type it had devised had been approved by the underwriters. He said he had resigned as president of the International Sprinkler Company on January 1, 1913, and went into the sprinkler business for himself. Mr. Evans further testified that he had used a city fire engine to test sprinklers at his factory.
Fire Marshal J. S. Mallory testified that he was formerly in Mr. Evans’ employ and subsequently was secretary of the Fire Prevention Commission, of which Mr. Evans is chairman. Battalion Chief John T. Young testified that about fifty officers and members of the department attended sprinkler tests at Mr. Evans’ factory and that the department was demoralized. Chief Young a few days later resigned from the department.