SELECTIONS FROM CHIEFS’ REPORTS.
The report of Chief Poyns, of the Tacoma, Wash., fire department, for the past year makes a creditable showing. The work of the department was efficient, and expenses were kept at the lowest point commensurate with economy and safety. Fire losses were small in comparison with those of other cities with much larger and more expensive departments. The most important features of the report are: A recommendation for a fireboat; request that two of the chemical engines now out of commission be restored; a showing that the department cost for the year $43,394.98, and t at the annual fire loss was but $38 626. The fire loss is, with two exceptions, the largest since 1893; but the insurance paid is correspondingly larger. In 1898 the fire loss amounted to $218,616 and the previous year it was more than $40,000; in 1893 it was $56,146; in 1889, $102,580, and in 1890, $101,937. The other years show a small fire loss. The number of alarms answered during the year was 164.
Chief Walker, of Scranton, Pa., reports 245 fires during the year—losses aggregating $181,026.79; insured for $927,450. Eighteen new hydrants were set; the foiceof paid men was increased by six— making thirty-two permanent firemen and 500 volunteers. Chief Walker recommends purchasing the thirty-six fire alarm boxes rented from the Gamewell company, the purchase of a new ninety-foot aerial hook and ladder truck, combination chemical hose wagons, a water tower, and more hose.
During the past year West Springfield, Mass., spent $2,656 on its fire department; there were twenty-three fires; there are now fourteen boxes in the town; and an appropriation of $3,500 is recommended for the coming year; also installing a fire alarm system in liiverdale and a new bell and striker for Merrick.
During 1899 the fire loss at Springfield, Ill., was $41,221; insured for $240,590; the loss not covered by insurance was $5,890. There were 131 alarms (ten false) during the year. The only addition to the equipment was a new hose reel.
Chief Baty, of Colorado Springs, Colo., reports 143 alarms of fire during 1899—twenty-six more than in 1898; insurance on buildings $21,608 55; on contents $254,626—total, $460,301; loss on buildings, $21,608.55; on contents, $78,41—total, $100,029.55. The paid department lias fourteen men and one chief engineer; three volunteer companies with about thirty members each; equipment of paid force, three combination hose and chemical wagons, one hook and ladder truck, one steam fire engine (in reserve), and one chief’s buggy, forty-one alarm boxes, besides five private telephones.
Chief Hogg reports less loss of property at Binghamton, N. Y . during the past year than in any year since 1894 It amounted to $45,215 67; insurance paid, $40,600 67; loss not so covered, $4,615 ; duration of service at fire fifty-one and one-half hours; total number of feet of hose laid, 35 000; box alarms, eighty-eight; by telephone, ten; still alarms, four; total number of alarms, 102. The most serious fire of the year was that at Jones’s scale works on December 26, with a loss of $10,264.81. Chief Hogg recommends the building of a fire station on the West Side, the addition of a combination chemical and hose wagon to the department apparatus; nnd the purchase of 1,000 feet of additional hose. There are 518 members ih the eight hose and hook and ladder companies, and the department has 7.000 feet of hose. Four new fire alarm boxes have been purchased during the year and three added to the system. During the year not one malicious false alarm was sent in. There were 102 alarms and six of the fires were supposed to have been of incendiary origin.
The fire department of Painesville, Ohio, answered thirty-two alarms in 1899.
The annual report of Chief Bernard, of Madison, Wis , of the city fire department, shows ninety-one fire alarms during the year, but only two serious fires. The losses at all the fires aggregated $64,395.51, covered by a total insurance of $865,814.98.