RANDOM SPARKS

RANDOM SPARKS

—On November 1, the Chicago Fire Department were paid their October salaries in gold, amounting to $26,867.

Early next year Baltimore will celebrate the completion of the water-supply tunnel. The tunnel is seven miles fong and twelve feet in diameter.

—The Jacksonville, Ill., water-works have gone dry, and the water supply in Springfield has become so rotten and tainted, it is said, as to be unfit for use.

—In Milwaukee during the month of October, the Department responded to eleven alarms of fire, with good success. Loss to buildings, $345; on stocks,

— Chief Engineer Henricks, of New Haven, Conn., has sent Steam-fire Engine No. 4, of his Department, to Hutmeman & Co., of Boston, by whose hands it will undergo a thorough repairing.

—A man who sat up four nights wrestling with it, asks this conundrum : “ What is the difference between a sailor and a Fireman?” Now, hold your breath. ” One plows the water and the other hose the water.”

—An exchange sa: ” Kctosrne will make tea-kettles shine as bright as new.” ” Yes,” remarked another paper. ” krosene Will do wonders ; it will make a house shine so it can be s en for miles, bu* it is terribly destructive to paint.”

— The average loss by fire in the United States each month is $8,000,000. In Russia, in the month of August, the loss by fire was nearly $16,000,000, double the average loss in this country. Russian insurance companies transact little but a re-insura’ t o business, hence the loss of most of the insured property in that country falls on foreign corporations.

—Engine Company No. a, of Elkhart, Ind., at the last meeting, elect d the following officers : Foreman, J. V. blear; Assistant Foreman, J. F. Kane; Secretary, A, Hare; Treasurer, J. T. Dolton. This is the fourth time Mr. Slear has filled the place ot Foreman, and the Company, it is said, could get no better man for the position. Ihe Company has as good a record as any in Indiana; the members take an interest in everything that concerns the welfare of the fire service, and they are always promptly on hand when the alarm bell rings.

—Wilcox Hose Company, of Meriden, Conn., is badly in need of a new supply of hose, as that which it now has is nearly useless for any kind of duty. The Company has a large district, covered w ith valuable property, to take care of, and it is an active Company. At a recent fire this Company was on the ground almost before the alarm had stopped ringing, and if their hose had been of good quality the fire would have been extinguished without much loss, but, as it was, the hose burst, and before the other Companies were on the ground the fire had it all its own way.

.—The Burlington Hawkcye says: “ The Emperor of Germany reads the Bible every morning ;” but adds that, “ you wouldn’t think it, to hear what he says in the night when he hears the fire bells ringing and can only find one boot and no matches.”

—The body of Richard Savage, a member of Wilcox Hose Company, Meriden, Conn., was buried Saturday, November x. He was a young man, unmarried, and had been connected with his Company since its organization. His death was caused by hemorrhage of the lungs, after an illness lasting only two weeks. The members of Wilcox Company, in a body, and many other members of the Fire Department, attended the funeral, the remains being taken to Hartford for interment. Mr. Savage had many good qualities, which endeared him to the hearts of all his comrades. He leaves behind him a mother and several sisters.

—The municipality of Geneva, Switzerland, has recently completed, after the manner of European cities, an opera house, the extent and beauty of which is only. excelled by the Paris and Vienna houses. The cost was $1,000,000. Every precaution has been taken to prevent fires, the amplest facilities for exit are provided, and the theatre can be emptied of its occupants in a few minutes, so numerous are the doors and so spacious are the staircases and corridors. Twenty-eight jets of water at full pressuie are always ready to be directed on any point of danger, and by means of iron curtains and doors one part of the house can be immediately cut off from the rest.

•—Shortly after four o’clock, on a recent morning, the members of No. 4 Engine Company, Baltimore, were awakened by a dense and suffocating smoke, permeating their bedroom and filling every room in the building. Hastily donning their clothing, the Firemen ran down stairs and found smoke issuing from every crevice in the floor. Upon making an examination of the cellar, it was found that the shaving pit was in flames, and was burning rapidly. A few buckets of water, however, well directed, extinguished the fire before much damage had been done. The origin of the fire is unknown, but it is supposed to have resulted from spontaneous combustion.

—Chicago is sadly in need of some powerful Steamers. At a recent fire on the fifth floor of a State street building, the four streams directed at the fire from the street might just as well have been four squirt guns, as far as their effectiveness went; they only succeeding in filling the basement with water, as it dropped back on to the sidewalk from the front of the building, without having touched ihe fire; the only streams that did good work being those directed from the roof of adjoining buildings. Had the building on fire been standing alone, as many Chicago buildings do, the Grand Pacific Hotel, for example, the Department would have been compelled, as they were in the case of the Post-office fire, to wait until the fire burned down to where they could get at it. The loss incurred by one good fire will pay for a dozen good powerful Steamers, and a supply of long ladders, which are also needed.

—A Detroit paper, of recent date, describes the manner in which a dog went to a fire. It says: At 8.05, last evening, an alarm was turned in from Station No. 15 for a slight blaze at the rear of No. 272 Jefferson avenue, where the damage done was nominal. The alarm was the cause of an interesting item, however. For some time the men of Fire Engine Company No. 7 have had a white bulldog, and the dog being of a fighting disposition, the men placed their pet in a private house on Elmwood avenue, directly opposite the Engine-house. When the alarm sounded last evening, the dog, which was tied in a room on the first floor of the house, made a dash, and, breaking the rope which held him, jumped over a table, knocking a water pitcher to the floor and shattering it. Then he plunged through a window, carrying glass and sash with him, and last of all forced open the blinds, thus reaching the ground. He ran over to the Engine-house, and arrived just in time to go to the fire ” wid der machine.”

—The Fire Department of Long Island City, upon the East river, opposite New York City, is still in active life, and prepared to do good service, notwithstanding the fact that Chief Casey has had a hard battle with the politicians. Mr. Casey should be given credit for indefatigable attention to the duties of his office, and a great part of the success of the Department in .fighting fire is owing to his efforts and ability. Following is a list of the officers and Companies of the Department: Chief Engineer, George Casey; First-Assistant, John Hay; Second-Assistant, Joseph Stevenson ; Engine Company No. 1. Owen Woods, Foreman ; Engine Company No. 2, Stafford Garrison, Foreman ; Engine Companies Nos. 3 and 4, names of Foremen not given in list: Hose Company No. 1, Thomas Murphy, Foreman; Hose Company No. 2, Dennis Barnes, Foreman ; Hose Company No. 3, P. Cavanaugh, Foreman ; Hose Company No. 4, John Rouney,. Foreman; H se Company No. 5, Joseph Cody, Foreman; Hose Company No. 6, John Slattery, Foreman; Hose Company No. 7, William McBride, Foreman; Hook and Ladder Company No. x, George Harris Foreman; Hook and Ladder Company No. 2, James Ryan, Foreman; Hook and Ladder Company No. 4-Foreman. All the officers of the Department are capable men.

—In another column the reader will find an excellent account of the demonstration at Geneseo, Ill., on the occasion of the dedication of the new water-works. Below is given the time made in the several contests. The judges were; L. P. Dodge, of Chicago; F. H. Babbitt, of Dixon; and F. A. Cramer, of Rock Island. The timekeepers were: M. Benner, of Chicago, and J. D. Paige, of Joliet. In the hose contests, the Companies ran 200 yards, laid 300 feet of hose, attached hose, broke coupling and attached pipe. Two Companies contested, the Third Ward Hose Company, of Rock Island, James Oldwilder, Foreman ; and the Geneseo Hose Company No. 1, Chris. Linley, Foreman. The former made it in 61 se onds, the latter in the Hook and Ladder there were no competitors to the Geneseo

No. x, who made the 300 yards, raised a 25-foot ladder, and Abner Offerle—who, by the way, is a most excellent climber—put his leg over the top round in 59# seconds. The Champion Chemic il Engine Company, from Galva, made their run (300 yards) and had their nozzle on in 66 seconds. In the juvenile races the Hose Company made the promising time of 55 seconds, and the Juvenile Engine Company the same time, 55 seconds. The trial of the water-works was very successful, and the Perkin’s pump proved all it was guaranteed to be. The test showed water pressure 235pounds, with 80 pounds of steam and running 60 revolutions per minute.

—The appropriation of the Indianapolis City Council for the expenses of keeping up its Fire Department during the fiscal year ending May 15, 1870, a report of which has just been received, was $68,856.75. Of this amount the Commissioners, R. S. Foster, James T. Layman, and W. H. Tucker, disbursed $63,16992. At the beginning of the year the stock of the Department was badly run down and many horses had to be replaced. Now the Department was, without doubt, as fine and had as serviceable a lot of horses as any Department in the United States. The average cost of the horses purchased during the year was $183.50. Difficulty was experienced on account of a laxity in rules regarding the holding of alarm-box keys, irresponsible persons often giving alarms when unnecessary ; but this matter has since been remedied. The Department was called out 170 times. It consists of 6 Engines, 11 reels, 2 Hook and Ladder Trucks, 1 Supply Wagon, x Wagon for Superintendent of Telegraph, 1 Wagon for Chief, 1 Wagon for general purposes, 1 Engine in reserve, 76 men, 34 horses, 8250 feet of hose. Wiih few exceptions, all the apparatus is in good condition, while the manual force is under much better discipline than ever before. The water-works are upon the Holly system with pipes ranging from 24 inches down. Total value of property, $236,229. Total loss during the year $39,1×9; insurance $24,028 ; largest loss, October, $11,200. This exhibit shows the Department to be an efficient one.

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