A correspondent writing to a contemporary in this city on the subject of gasoline and garages gives the following instance of the recklessness of many of the attendants in these establishments— a recklessness which is absolutely criminal, considering the disastrous results that may follow from it. The writer says: “The quantity of gasoline used by the garages in the automobile district [of New York city] is of surprising proportions. One garage in the neighborhood of the Fifty-sixth street [Manhattan] sewer cares for more than 300 automobiles, and probably uses not less than 600 gallons daily. All of this is brought to the garages in cans loaded on trucks, and is emptied into the big storage tank in the cellar by gravity through a small rubber pipe, which has to be uncoupled every time a can is emptied, and then coupled to the next can. The other day an attendant in front of one of the garages was seen running the gasoline from a truck load of tanks and smoking a cigarette at the same time, With the cigarette in his mouth, he would make occasional survey at the couplings and vents to see how fast the oil was running. At these moments his lighted cigarette was less than three inches from the vapor exuding. A health department policeman, whose attention was called to the sight, made the man throw his cigarette away. He did so reluctantly. This only illustrates the chances men will take who are constantly handling this powerful explosive, and it is reasonable to believe that, if such sights are seen on the street surface, others illustrating equal carelessness are just as common on the basement floors where the automobiles are cleaned.”
Chief Harry J. Becker, of the South Orange, N. J.. fire department, complains that many of the volunteer firemen do not respond to duty, although they enjoy the benefits and often the credit of those who fight the flames on every occasion. He recommends that the department be reorganised, with a hose companv and a hook and ladder company, a chief and one assistant, instead of two, the active firemen to receive some compensation, to be fixed by the board. At present, beyond the desire to protect life and property, there is no incentive to duty. All volunteers receive $12 a year, whether they attend to a fire or not.