SPARTANBURG FIRE DEPARTMENT
Spartanburg, S. C., is one of those Southern cities that is quietly increasing every year both in population and business. At the last United States census its population was set down as II, 395. It has increased considerably since that time. Its fire area extends over 960 acres and within these limits have been built many large commercial buildings of brick, two stories and five stories high. As is generally the case in the smaller cities, the private residences are of wood, but a city ordinance forbids wooden roofs and, besides, regulates the sale and storage of fireworks and combustibles. Its waterworks system has as its source a creek, from which the water is taken at a point one tnile and a half from the business centre. The system is’gravity and pumping to a 92×20-ft. standpipe, with a capacity of 216,000 gals, and a reservoir, with a capacity of 3,000,000 gals. The two pumping engines are of the Deane make and have an aggregate day capacity of 2,000,000 gals. Between 120 and 130 Chapman fire hydrants are set on nearly a score of miles of main, the fire pressure at which is from 60 to 200 lbs.–a great contrast to the days of 1888, when the existing protection against fire, so far as concerned the water supply, was ten cisterns filled from roofs. The fire department of the city is under the command of Chief Engineer G. S. Kennedy, whose assistant chief is YV. D. Mitchell, with Captain R. E. Miller. There arc ten full paid firemen and fifteen call men. Ten years ago the force consisted of 140 volunteers and three full paid. The equipment is as follows: Steel combination wagon, with one 50-gal. tank and capacity for 1.000 ft. of hose: straight wagons, two: hook and ladder truck: La France engine (rotary). The value of the fire department buildings is $2,500. The fire alarm is bell. There are nearly 4,000 ft. of cotton, rubber-lined hose and two horses in service, and chemical hand-extinguishers are used. During the year ending Octolier 20, 1906, the department attended fortynine fires; the value of the buildings at risk was $110,450: contents, $244.500—total, $344,950: insurance on buildings, $47,275; on contents, $t 13.459—total, $160,270. The loss on buildings was $5.631: on contents, $10,333 total, $15,964.25. The showing thus made is one that speaks well for the good work done by Chief Kennedy and his men. There is, however, no doubt that, with an electric fire alarm telegraph system and street fire alarm lioxes installed, the loss would be smaller, as the alarm could be sent in more promptly, with a correspondingly quicker turn out. In that case the underwriters’ rating might be changed from second to first-class.