Chief John Thompson, Toronto, Ont.

On March 14, the business centre of Toronto was visited with a destructive fire, the cause of which is unknown. It took place in the building of the Plate Glass company, a new four-story brick building re-erected in 1902. The neighborhood has more than once suffered from bad fires, and a blaze there is always a cause of more or less anxiety as it is a congested-value district, where many hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property is at stake. The building in question was not spr ink hired and depended altogether on the efforts of the fire department to protect it. It occupied a space of 64 x 150 ft. and stood in a street 66 ft. wide. Available for its protection were seven 2-way, 3-way and 4-way hydrants. On the out street was a 6-in. main, on the other, a 17-in. The hydrants were distant from each other about 250 ft and the pressure at each (which was ample and from direct pumping) was 75 lbs. Three alarms were turned in, and, when Chief John Thompson and his men arrived on the spot, the flames, which originated somewhere alxtut the middle of the ground floor, were coming out of every opening in each floor and through the roof, proving that the lire must have made great headway before it was discovered. The apparatus that turned out comprised four W’aterous engines; five hook and ladder trucks; twelve hose wagons; one chemical engine and the water tower. Each of the seven hydrants threw a stream and eight streams were thrown by the ciigines, the largest number thrown at one time Turing fifteen. As the hydrants were distant so far from each other, there was need to lay a considerable amount of hose. There were stretched 7.500 feet, the nozzles employed being 14 in. and lj/z-in. Thenozzle used on the water tower was 2-in. The hose was cotton, rubber-lined, of which two lengths hurst under the pressure. The firemen had a long cold, and hard fight before they could get the lire under control, which they Tmally did. with a los> of $150,000, the insurance on which was as follows; On the building, $20, ooo; on the contents—glas>, plate-glass and machinery, $125,000, The work of the firemen was good, and l>v their exertions the flame* were eonfined to the one building – for which thyy dt served the highest credit. It is to he hoped that tinnext building that is erected’ on the site will not he of the ordinary brick and joist type with wooden floors ar.d wide spaces, elevator shafts and the like, hut of proper fire-resistant materials. The value of sprinkler systems as adjuncts to the fire department docs not seem to he appreciated in Toronto, nor do the merchants understand the necessity for a fireboat for the protection of tin* extensive water front. Every now and then they get up and talk of the need of much better lire nrotection than they enjoy, and now and again there is a whisper as to the good service done by sprinklers in checking incipient fires, or, perhaps, a correspondence in the city papers or some discussion in the city council as to the propriety of hacking up Chief Thompson’s reiterated requests fe»r improved buildings and additional equipment. But there the matter ends; just as the agitation for eqttiping the public school’.; with fire-escapes so as to escape a repetition of the Hochelaga disaster may end. Yet Toronto has had several verv severe warnings of late. Will she finally profit by them or must she be still further proved by lire?

A Hard Task in Loading Frozen Hose at a March Fire at Philadelphia.Turret Nozzle Playing on Corner Where Salvage Corps Lost a Man; Wall on Right Fell on Hotel, Peck Bldg., Minneapolis.

The committee of five of the thirty-five insurance companies that acted in unison in the settlement of losses in San Francisco has reported that the total loss of every description by earthquake and fire was about $1,000,000,000. The estimated value of the property insured by 233 companies was $315,000,000. on which the loss amounted to $180,000,000. The thirty-five companies settled claims to the amount of $64,531,935.

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