THE FIRE EQUIPMENT OF LOS ANGELES, CAL.
Los Angeles, Cal., is not only one of the most progressive Californian cities, but, also, is determined to keep itself in the front rank in every way, and not least in the line of duly protecting the lives and property of its citizens against fire. Its population of 102,479 in 1890 and its fire area of forty-three acres have grown and widened out considerably, and, with that growth and out-broadening, has been a corresponding increase in the number of its buildings, many of which are today highly imposing structures. For that reason alone a ftrstclass fire department is a necessity, and that need is ail the greater. considering how many frame buildings, many of them costly residences, are to he found within its limits. To guard against the dangers of tire—dangers all the more to he dreaded, on account of the permission accorded lo the use of wooden roofs there has been organised a most efficient full paid lire department under Chief Walter Lips. Its personnel is as follows: Chief engineer; assistant chief engineer; secretary; captains (first class, seven, second class, nine), sixteen; lieutenants, live; engineers (tirst class, seven, second class, ten), seventeen; relief engineers, two; drivers (tirst class, seven, second class, thirty-four), forty-one; tillermen, two; hosemen, sixty; laddermen, eighteen; driver supply wagon; blacksmith—total, 166. As will he seen by the accompanying photographs, these are housed in stations which are at once artistic and comfortable, and, in addition, are equipped with up-to-date apparatus and the most modern appliances for stabling the ninety-seven horses and getting them out without losing a moment. t he equipment is excellent. It consists of sixteen steamers, with two more engine companies organising and to he fully equipped, on the completion of the houses. There are also two Champion chemical engines, each with two fifty-gal. tanks; combination chemical and hose wagons, each with 1.000 feet of two and a half-in. hose, eleven; hose wagons, carriages and carts, each with 1,000 feet of two and a half-in. hose, seven; hook and ladder trucks (Babcock aerial, eighty-five-ft.. Seagrave. city service truck, Babcock), three; chief’s buggies, three; supply wagons, three; hose, cotton, two and a half-in., 27,700 ft.: hose, cotton, three-in., 500 ft.; Siamese connections 2 into 1, seven; Siamese connections, 1 into 2, three; chemical extinguishers, twenty-two. During the last vear the department answered. 818 alarms, of which 727 were to actual fires, the total loss at which was $527,545; insurance paid during ten months, $365,498. Of these tires, 412 were in wooden buildings: 138, in brick; two, in a’dobe;: 175 being other than in buildings; 538 were confined to the one building and only fourteen spread to adjoining buildings. The machine shop opera ted by* the department has been in existence for two years and has accomplished much profitable work for the city. Eight new boilers have been installed in engines: the machinery of the engines has been thoroughly overhauled and numerous other repairs have been made: a combination chemical and hose wagon was built; and a sixtvfive-ft. water tower constructed. The city has thereby been saved a considerable amount of expense. The shop is 53 ft. by 56 ft., and was built by the members of engine company No. 4, under the supervision of Captain A. J. Ely. It is complete in every detail and is capable of doing firstclass work. During the past year two new twostory, brick stationhouses were nearly completed, and two were remodeled. Notwithstanding all the fire equipment and staff of firefighters Chief Lip has round him, he is not content, and will not be till the fire commissioners, who are as zealous for the city’s fire protection as he is himself, provide for the growth of the city by building and equipping four new houses, and substituting and equipping another for one that should be abandoned. In it he would install an additional hook and ladder truck. He needs, besides, a water battery, a drill-tower, at least 5,000 feet of two and a half-in. hose, which would then give each company two lines of hose, and recommends that the lire hydrants be overhauled and used only for fire purposes. The Gamewell fire alarm telegraph system is installed, with 268 boxes.