The Fire Department of Brownwood. Texas

The Fire Department of Brownwood. Texas

The illustration accompanying this article shows the volunteer fire department of Brownwood, Texas, of which W. D. McCulley is chief and Alvin Gelbhar, fire marshal. The apparatus shown from left to right consists of chief’s car, equipped with chemical extinguisher. Denby hose and ladder truck, equipped with 35-gallon chemical extinguisher and 1,200 feet of hose, Brockway city service truck with 35-gallon chemical extinguisher and 1,000 feet of hose, and one American-LaFranee 1,000-gallon triple combination pumper, carrying 1,000 feet of hose. The central fire station is shown in the background. The department consists of thirty-three volunteers and five paid men. Six sleep at station No. 1 and three at station No. 2. In describing a recent fire, which occurred in Brownwood, Fire Marshal Gelbhar writes to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING: “Six members of the department including myself sleep at the central station and on seeing the fire which was in a business block near the headquarters we got out the American-LaFrance pumper and had two streams of water going in less than five minutes. We arrived at the fire scene before the whistle fire alarm was blown and a few minutes later emergency truck No. 1 had laid another line of hose from the pumper to a nearby hydrant. We had ample pressure from all hydrants as well as from pumper. The water chart at the City Hall showed from 55 to 65 pounds pressure during the fire, just as we arrived at the building the second explosion occurred and all windows in the two-story structure were demolished as well as considerable damage done on the inside of the building. In less than ten minutes the third explosion followed and the whole structure became a mass of flames. Other adjoining buildings also caught fire, but these were extinguished before much damage was done. It is thought that a leak in a gas pipe in an adjoining theatre building passed through the wall by the way of joists and caused the explosion. The buildings damaged were the bank building, 30 x 100 feet, two stories, and the Dixey Theatre building of the same size. Both of these buildings had fire walls of stone and brick. The Rogers building, which was also damaged, was 140 x 100 feet, one-story and of stone construction. There were in this same block some half-million dollar buildings and these were saved by the fire department. The total damage amounts to $251,000.”

Fire Department and Apparatus of Brownwood, Tex.

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