THE LATE FIRE IN CHARLESTON.
The fire masters of Charleston, S. C., after an exhaustive inquiry, during which twenty-five witnesses were examined, have came to the conclusion that, according to the testimony of policemen, firemen, and citizens the recent disastrous fire in Church street in that city, which caused the death of nine persons, no blame attaches to the fire department. I he trucks and engines responded promptly; the men worked faithfully, diligently, and efficiently; and the officers showed themselves in every way competent. The witnesses proved that the fire was well under way when the alarm sounded; that it was not long befote the department arrived or before the fire was completely under control; [and that no fire department, howevei excellent its facilities or efficient its members, could have rescued the unfortunate victims of the fire—of whom, by the way,one of the firemen was husband,father,and brother-inlaw. The building was an old frame building in which the flames had been raging for an hour or more before being dis covered, and the delay in turning in an alarm was accounted for by the fact that the policeman on duty had been called away to a house in the neighborhood where a murderous assault was being committed. The fire was properly handled by the department,and the loss of life was just one of those unavoidable accidents that might occur in any city,even one. like New York,possessing the best possible fire department. As to Chief MarjenhofT and his alleged speech that his ” duty was to put out fire and not save life,” the falsity of the statement was absolutely disproved not only by engineers of the fire department, but also by citizens who were standing by him at the time when,according to the statement which rumor started,the speech was made. None who know Chief MarjenhofT would give credit for one moment to such a story. It is a great relief to the citizens of Charleston to know that, after such a careful and so thorough an investigation, to which the press and the public were freely admitted,their faith in the efficiency of their fire department has not been in the least shaken.