SUMMARIZED FIRE REPORTS FOR 1900.
DES MOINES, IA., had a number of fires and alarms for the year 1900—374 in all. Of this number of alarms 311 were received over the telephones, and sixtythree from the Gamewell system. The loss on buildings was $57,563; on contents, $43,299. Insurance on buildings was, $555,300; on contents, $185,600—total loss, $100,861; total insurance, $740,900; insurance over loss, $640,039. Estimated value of property directly involved, $1,897,730. All fires during the year were confined to the buildings where they originated. The principal fires of the year were five in number: In the Auditorium, which had been erected the year before at a cost of $50,000. The building was being used for a variety theatre, and it was supposed the fire started from electric wires under the stage. Valuation, $50,000; loss, $38,000; insurance, $35,000. In the four story brick used by Langan Bros, as a wholesale paper and woodenware house. The fire started in the basement and ran up the elevator shaft, but was confined to the first two floors and the elevator framework. The damages to the upper floors and contents were caused by smoke Valuation, $85,000; loss, $30,500; insurance, $65,000. In the grand stand, and other frame buildings at the baseball park. The fire was prevented from spreading, and some of the frame barns were saved. Valuation, $30,000; loss, $15,000. insurance, $16,300. In the basement of the wholesale paint and wallpaper house of A. Madole. The fire was confined to the basement and first floor, which was damaged by falling down, and the remainder of the building—three-story brick, covering a quarter block—was uninjured. Valuation, $65,000: loss, $7,000; insurance, $35,000. In the fourstory tenement building, called the Oriel block. When the department arrived it was found that the entire roof of the front portion was on fire and the upper floor. The fire was confined to the upper floor, the only damage to those below being from water, and that very small. Valuation, $30,000; loss, $4,000; insurance, $33,000. Chief Burnett makes the following recommendations for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 1901: The reconstruction and enlargement of the Gamewell fire alarm system; the appointment of an electrical inspector; the addition of a suburban fire station, also one additional tire station in the centre of the business district, with the necessary hose and apparatus ; the addition of eleven men to the force; and the placing of forty additional hydrants. Chief Burnett has every reason to believe that all of these recommendations will be granted.
Chief Kivliugham claims that,
if there is any city in Virginia that should have a wellequipped fire department it is Staunton, on account of our public institutions and schools, where a serious loss of life and property may accrue at any time. The equipment of the department at present consists only of one hose wagon, that carries 900 feet of hose, tw’o small ladders, and two three-gallon fire extinguishers. When this wagon answers an alarm we have nothing at the department headquarters in reserve; the only thing we have to depend on is the hand truck, with 300 feet of hose of the Sears’ Hill hose company, which we should have to send or telephone for, which would take anywhere from a half to one hour to have it brought to the central parts of the city, or where we might need it. So you can see when a fire is in one part of the city the remainder of the city is without any protection. * * * I recommend the purchase of the following equipment for the department.: One combination hose wagon, with chemical attachment; one hook and ladder wagon, equipped : three horses, one for the use of the chief; 500 feet of the best rubber hose : two gum nozzles; the placing of more fireplugs in different parts of the city; and also, increasing the number of men in the department, as twelve men are not enough to fight a large fire that lasts for hours. * * * To the captain and members of the Sears’ Hill hose company, thanks are due for their valuable assistance rendered on all occasions
Chief Mesnar holds that the fire department of Canton, Ohio, is equal to any in the State. The number of calls was between fifty and sixty; the insurance involved was: On buildings, $57,702 ;on contents,$60,120: loss on buildidgs, $34,302 ; on contents, $34,300; total expense of maintaining the department for the year, $15,903.70. The total number of paid men is thirtyfive ; of minute men, forty-two. Chief Mesnar set a good example last year by his great dillgenco in inspecting all the business blocks, manufacturing establishments, schoolhouses, etc. in the city, in seeing that all inflammable stuff was removed therefrom,and condemning nearly two score of unsafe old barns and houses. The children in the public schools are constantly and skilfully drilled in case of fire, and the schools themselves well supplied with hose. For the Central high school is recommended a two-wheeled chemical, on account of the dangers connected with the laboratory in that building. The majority of the manufacturing establishments and shops also are well equipped for fire purposes—many with automatic sprinklers, fire hose, and Babcock extinguishers, and their employes drilled in handling these in case of fire. One has a supply of water for fire purposes independent of the city in general. Chief Mesnar recommends that a new firehouse be built in the northeastern part of the city, which at present is very poorly protected, and that a horse and wagon be purchased for the use of the chief.
Marquette, Mich., had sixty-four alarms of fire last year, of which twelve were false. The fire department is today “better equipped and in better condition than ever before.” There have been added a combination chemical engine and hose wagon—a sixty-gallon chemical tank and fixtures for winter use being placed permanently in a sleigh box : two smoke protectors for the firemen; and an extra horse for the chemical, at a total cost of $3,775. With a view to prevent the trouble existing for years with ice in the intake pipe, it was decided that a larger supply pipe was a necessity, and its extension into somewhat deeper water than the present pipe is very likely. One of forty-two inches in diameter was considered as none too large, and It was decided to extend it into the lake as far as $25,000 set apart for that purpose would permit. This will be laid in the spring. A bypass system at the pumpiug statiou has been put in and completed, so far as is possible until the new intake pipe is laid, with which it will be connected. A purtial test of its efficiency afforded recently by an ice stoppage leads to the belief it will prove an important factor in preventing water famine from ice in the intake pipe.