Alliance, Ohio, a city of 9,000 inhabitants, has probably the smallest paid fire department on the continent. Yet for its six men. all of whom are thoroughly drilled and in every way fit for their duties, it has an equipment equal to that of many a city of much greater size. Over these is Chief William Aungst, who is not only a first-class chief, but also a practical fireman and the inventor of a nozzle to whose value many chiefs have borne witness.

How highly the people of Alliance appreciate Chief Aungst was proved on the evening of f )ecember 20, when Mayor Dressier, accompan’ed by a large number of his fellow citizens, presented him with a fire chiefs hat. The mayor eulogized the efficiency of the city fire department, and further voiced the public sentiment by saying that the valuable services rendered the city were well known and appreciated by property-owners, as the losses sustained since the establishment of the department were insignificant compared with those previous to that time.

Chief Aungst, who was completely taken by surprise,replied briefly but appropriately, and at the same time expressed his desire to keep the fire department up to its present high standard. In answer to the mayor’s assurance that he had endeared himself to all his subordinates in the department,! hief Aungst expressed his heartfelt thanks to his assistants. The hat with which he was presented is of aluminum handsomely ornamented, and bears on it a silver plate on which are engraved the names of the firemen.


After the presentation there was an exhibition drill, in the course of which the firemen not only proved how quickly they could hitch the horses to the apparatus, but also in how inconceivably short a s|>ace of time they could be roused from their beds, could dress themselves,slide down the pole to the engine room, hitch up the horses, and take their places on the wagon, with the doors open and ready for a run. To do all that took them eleven seconds.

On December 21 the firemen of the city gave a ball, which was a thorough success in every way. Chief Aungst and his men showed they were as expert in dancing as they were in fire-fighting.


At midnight on December 28, a big fire broke out at Alliance, causing a loss of over $ux>,ooo. The blaze was first discovered in the basement of the Parthe shoe store. A fierce gale was blowing at the time, and fanned the flames. 1’he Atwell block, occupied by the Cassaday Drug and Chemical Company, caught fire, and the exploding drugs and chemicals threw burning fluids in all directions. During the fire several persons were injured. Fireman Robert Green was overcome by smoke and heat, and is in a serious condition. Fireman Webb and a policeman were also badly injured. The insurance will cover about one-half the loss. It was due solely to the good work of the firemen that the destruction was not much greater. They fought against terrible odds—the fury of the wind sometimes being nearly sufficient to blow the men off the ladders, and whatever coigns of vantage they had secured from whence to operate. The fire had made great headway before it was discovered.

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