SPECIAL FIRE NEWS OF THE WEEK.
(FROM FIRE AND WATER CORRESPONDENTS.)
William Jones has been elected fire chief of Pana, Ill.
The Vinton, Ohio, fire department has elected R. T. Dunham chief.
Eben Utter is the new chief of the Poughkeepsie, N. Y., fire department.
The Jamaica, N. Y., fire department has elected Albert Purchase, chief.
During 1901 Fairmont, W. Va., had thirty-four fires, with $14,736 loss.
William Gochee is this year’s chief of the Oskaloosa, la., fire company.
Warren, Ill., has a fire department of thirty members, all in good standing.
Newark, Del., fire company has fifty members. S. B. Herdman is president.
A. J. Scott has been re-elected chief of the Hancock, Mich., fire department.
The old fire engine of Winsted, Conn., is to be repaired at a cost of $2,000.
Ferdinand Kleck has been appointed chief of the fire department of Watertown, Wis.
J. J. Davey has been appointed chief of the Mandan, N. Dak., fire department.
Oak Park. 111., has adopted an ordinance creating a fire company of fifteen members.
At Milroy, Pa., some action is to be taken to provide the place with proper fire protection.
Roland Park, Md., has a new volunteer fire company composed of fourteen members.
The valuation of the equipment of the fire department of Cedar Rapids, la., is $13,179.
George E. Weatherby has been chosen as chief of the Shillsburg. Wis., fire department.
The Middleboro Firemen’s Relief association has elected C. W. Kingman president.
The ratio of fire loss to insurance in Indiana during 1901 was about seventy per cent.
There was no apparatus at Coudette, Pa., when $30,000 worth of property was destroyed.
After a hot triangular fight H. C. Harrington was elected chief of the fire department of Rome, Ga.
Byron, Mich., was depending upon luck when on January 8, the town narrowly escaped destruction.
The Hyde Park, Ohio, Volunteer Fire company has been organised, with A. O. Kraemer as president.
Pennville, Ind., lost a considerable amount of property through being unprovided with fire apparatus.
W. O. Drew, fire marshal of Washington, D. C., has retired. He has been superseded by Sidney Bieber.
Chief James Devine, of Salt Lake City, has recommended placing fireplugs on the grounds of the University of Utah.
Worcester, Mass., has closed a contract with the La France Fire Engine company for a firstclass steamer, to cost $4,800.
Newark. Ohio, had only five alarms of fire on July 4, 1901. What were the typical small and big. young and old boys about?
The board of public safety of Pensacola, Fla., has appointed J. G. White to succeed John Oliver as chief of its fire department.
Chief O’Brien, of Galesburg, Ill., has his new combination chemical engine and hose wagon installed in the new station No. 2.
At West Branch, Mich., a meeting of citizens was recently held to form a volunteer fire company. Archie McKay was chosen chief.
Rolla V. Watt has been chosen president of the board of fire commissioners of San Francisco, Cal. J. S. Parry is the new commissioner.
Mount Vernon. Tex., has occasion to remember its lack of proper fire protection by the loss of nearly $100,000 worth of property.
Captain Kingsley, of engine company No. 19. Minneapolis, Minn., has resigned after thirty years of faithful service in the department.
At Bloomington, Ill., petitions are being circulated asking that the pension fund of the firemen and police be made a part of the city’s laws.
An overheated furnace caused the complete destruction of St. Casimir’s Polish-Lithuanian Catholic church and rectory at Plymouth, Pa. Loss, $20,000.
Chief Foley, of Milwaukee, and the city attorney have been instructed to prepare data for legislation against accidents between street cars and fire apparatus.
By equipping the insurance patrol wagons of Chicago with ruber tires and ball-bearings, it is calculated that fully one minute will be saved on each alarm.
One fire alarm box at each public school is insisted on by Fire Marshal H. Musham of Chicago. Two trucks will answer each school alarm. Too many of the schools are not supplied with fire escapes.
Logansport, La., has learned a severe lesson by not having fire protection. It only lost $100,000 worth of property and came near being wiped out altogether.
An ordinance is soon to be introduced in the Milwaukee, Wis., city council, at the suggestion of Chief Foley, providing for an outside cut-oil in gas pipes leading into buildings.
The YVashington block fire at Syracuse, N. Y., caused the loss of one life and serious injury to five men. Chief Uuigley did good work in keeping the fire within bounds.
The citizens of McHenry, Miss., saved the town from destruction by pluck and buckets. Only $18.000 worth of property was destroyed. No wonder hre insurance loss is heavy.
Camp Five, of the Outer Creek Broom and Lumber company, in the forest, seven miles from Hambleton, W. Va., burned. The flames spread so rapidly that seven of the forty employes asleep in the building perished.
A bill has been filed with the clerk of the house of representatives, Boston, Mass., which provides t hat the members of the Boston fire department shall not be required to do duty for more than twelve hours in each twenty-four hours.
The Seagrave company, of Columbus, Ohio, has furnished a new hose wagon to Peoria, 111., which is well spoken of. Lack of horses prevents the two new fire stations from being opened.
The new combination chemical and hose wagon for Mason City, la., is a complete piece of apparatus. It was made by the Fire Extinguisher Manufacturing Company, and will be delivered on February 1.
To prevent the cover of the pole hole shutting down while the men are sliding down, a trigger and spring arrangement has been provided which opens the door and prevents it from closing until all of the men have landed. It has been adopted at Decatur, 111.
Colonel J. P. Donahue, of Davenport, la., has offered to construct quarters for the Volunteer Veteran Firemen’s association in one of the waterworks pumping stations. Perhaps, the next move of the colonel will be to don a red shirt and parade with the boys.
Six men of truck 17, of the Chicago fire department, were thrown into the street while responding to a fire alarm. Two of the men were buried beneath the truck and received severe, one, it is feared, fatal injuries and all of the others were seriously hurt.
Members of the Syracuse, N. Y., fire department are opposed to the bill of Assembytnan Williams, providing for an equal division of ninety per cent, of the foreign insurance tax, all of which is now paid into the firemen’s pension fund of that city.
At Bethany, Conn., on January 1, Edmund Peck, a retired Methodist clergyman, aged eighty, and his daughter, Mary Peck, were recently burned to death early in the morning in a fire which destroyed their homestead. Charles Peck, of Waterbury, a son, was seriously injured in jumping.
Chief John T. Merx has served eighteen years in the fire department of Akron, Ohio. He was elected chief because the people and the fire commissioners thought him the best man for the place. He will do all be can to keep the department out of politics and politics out of the department.
Chief Cooney, of Little Falls, N. Y., has reported to the police and fire board, showing that the department is in excellent shape. A new sleigh and teams will be purchased, and the annual expenses increased from $10,000 to $12,000. James T. Leigh, fire commissioner for three years, has retired.
The report of the Chanute, Kan., fire department for 1901 states that there were fifteen alarms over the preceding year; loss, $11,588.50; insurance, $7,228.50; 6,050 feet of hose were laid; and the expenses were only $280. This is good work at small outlay with a vengeance. B. L. Colaw is assistant chief.
. W. Vandiver, mayor of Talladega, Ala., says: ur present fire alarm system is imperfect. I recommend that the present telephone alarm be improved or abandoned as worthless, and a fire bell be purchased, and that the wards and houses be numbered, and the taps of the bell indicate the locality of the fire.”
Chief Swingley, of New Orleans, who so lately saw three of his men badly hurt, one fatally, by their truck colliding with a street railway car, whose motorman refused to pay any heed to the approaching piece of apparatus, declares that his men are being slaughtered by the street cars, and that the Transit company is responsible for their deaths and inj uries.
Mayor Daniel England, of Pittsfield, Mass., recently expressed himself as follows with respect to the appointment of a fire commission: “As a rule I am opposed to the creating of commissions of any kind; but my experience as a member of the fire department and on the fire department committee convinces me that we should amend our ordinances and establish a fire commission as soon as possible.”
Tucson, Arizona, has elected Frank E. Russell chief. The annual report of the department for 1901 gives loses as $12,000 and the alarms seventeen.
R. L. Spears, of Harmony, Ohio, succeeded in rescuing three of his children during a night fire. As he started in after the baby, the roof fell in, and the child perished.
The annual ball of the Boston fire and protective departments will be held at Mechanics’ Hall Huntington avenue, Thursday, February 6. It will be preceded by a concert. FIRE AND WATER, in acknowledging the courtesy of an invitation, wishes Chief Cheswell, his officers and men, and all their guests a thoroughly good time.
The controversy over the installation of the police signal system in Kansas City, Mo., still continues. Some testimony was taken last week in regard to the matter when F. C. Stover, president of The Gantewell company, of Illinois, stated that his company had no interest in any commercial telephone corporation and that he did not intend to go into the business, unless driven to do so.
A midnight explosion, probably of gas, in the basement of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church at New Britain, Conn., one of the most beautiful in New England, caused a fire which completely gutted its interior. Two of the priests, who made repeated unsuccessful attempts to rush through the flames to carry the sacred vessels from the high altar, had at last to be forcibly restrained by the police from again risking their lives. Loss, $50,000.
Building Inspector Carter and Chief Salter, of the Omaha, Neb., fire department, said that the engine houses of Kansas City, Mo., especially with regard to the firemen’s quarters, were far in advance of Omaha’s stations. The men have fine folding beds in which to sleep, their floors are carpeted with Brussels carpet, and on the third floor, in several houses, is a dancing hall and gymnasium.
The first question asked Mr. Stover was whether or not he had any understanding with the police commissioners regarding keeping up the Gantewell system after it was installed, lie replied that there was no contract, but he had told the board that his company would keep the system in repair for $1,200 per year for ten years.
George W. Heath, the newly appointed postmaster of Bloomfield. N. J„ is a member of the local Exempt Firemen’s association, and for years was active in the fire service as a member of Essex hook and ladder company No. 1, of which he was also secretary and clerk. He makes the fifth local postmaster who was a member of that company.
While the dedication of the new fire engine, Julius Fleischmann, lately received at Cincinnati, Ohio, was being celebrated, Senator Cohen, in telling of the duties of firemen, was saying, “Why, they may have moments of leisure, but that little bell there (pointing to the joker) is liable to ring at any moment.” Just at that instant a cork from a champagne bottle in a waiter’s hand popped out and hit the bell a resounding whack. The humor of the situation was so apparent that the entire crowd fairly yelled with laughter. Strange to say some of the guests thought the matter had been prearranged; such, however. was not the case.
Two former chiefs of the Cincinnati fire department are still alive, Lew Wtsbey, who was retired twelve years ago. and Jacob Hughes, who succeeded Chief VVisbev and was succeeded by Chief Archibald, the present incumbent of the office. Former Chief Wisbey is seventy years of age. and is in bad health; whereas his immediate successor, a man of sixtythree years of age. is hale and hearty and a great fisherman.
A special dispatch from St. Louis, Mo., dated January 22, states that the first result of the agitation by the insurance men of the city over the recent heavyfire losses is the dismissal from the fire department of two of the assistant chiefs. This step was taken by Chief Swingley himself and was the direct outcome of a conference between a committee from the fire prevention bureau and Mayor Wells on Saturday last, at which Chief Swingley was present. The chief was instructed in the presence of tne committee to investigate the allegations of disloyalty among his subordinates and to take summary action, in which he would be backed by the mayor and the insurance men. Much bitter feeling has been aroused thereby, all the more because one of those thus discharged was avowedly a candidate for Chief Swingley’s office. The mayor, however, backed by the insurance men, will not” allow politics to creep into the department.