Philadelphia Fire Palrol Report
The annual report of the Philadelphia Fire Insurance Patrol for 1913, its forty-fourth, states that there were 4,096 alarms, an increase of 282 over 1912, the number of actual fires, 3,651, an increase of 250 over 1912. The total insurance loss on buildings and contents was $1,920,836 and uninsured loss $269,100, a total of $2,189,936. The Patrol consists of three companies under command of Captain Joseph
H. Shermer, who succeeded George R. Stillman who died December 12, 1913, and who had been connected with the Patrol since it was organized in 1869; was made captain October 15, 1876, and was in command of the Patrol from April 15, 1877, until his death. Station No. 2 was provided with a motor wagon during the year and a motor wagon ordered for No. 1 station in Arch street, the headquarters of the patrol. Of 38 members connected with the patrol, including the clerical force, eight have been members more than twenty years. They’ are Captain Shermer, assistant captain, S. B. Peak and W. J. Taylor, Inspector William McDevett, and patrolmen . J. Rodgers, George Lasner, William Richardson, John Clyde and R. C. Hutcheson. Seven have been members more than ten years and five more than five years. Of the 3,651 fires, 2,338 were confined to the floors on which they originated, 358 extended to other floors, 119 extended to adjoining buildings and 836 were outside of buildings. Of the 2,815 buildings in which there were fires, 2,526 were brick, 100 stone, 9 iron and 181 frame. There were 38 fires with a loss of more than $10,000 each. The largest number of fires in buildings occupied for the same purposes were 1,388 dwellings, 115 gasoline motors, 103 automobiles, 101 unoccupied, 96 grocery stores, 69 stables, 55 cigar stores, 47 produce and provision stores, 36 garages, 36 restaurants, 35 tailor shops, 34 preserve stores, 31 bakeries, 28 liquor stores, 27 storage warehouses, 24 apartment buildings, 23 dry good stores, 22 machinery plants, and
I,618 miscellaneous. The nrincipal causes were: 807, matches; 348, locomotive sparks; 336 chimney sparks; 164, smoking; 158, electricity; 130, stoves; 126, gas jets; 109, defective flues; 108, candles; 91, spontaneous combustion; 83 boiling lard and oils; 62, friction; 60, ranges; 56 gas stoves; 56, rubbish; 55, ashes; 45, heaters; 40, fireworks, and 40, lightning and 288 unknown. Company 1 attended 301 fires; Company 2, 153 fires, and Company 3, 243 fires. The most alarms were in June, 423; the fewest in August, 250. The cost of the Patrol maintenance was $60,372.07, which includes $2,600 for motor wagon.