The Necessity for Fire Escapes.
To the Editor FIRE AND WATER :
It is a great shame that the laws of this and other States are not more explicit regarding the facilities for escape in case of fire; take for example the fire that occurred March 8th, at No. 628 Eighth avenue this city All the tenants in the front of the building were cut off from the stationary outside escape on the rear, the air-shaft and halls being so full of smoke that the only means of escape were from the front window. Fortunately on the top (4th floor) one of the tenants had an inch rope; and all those who slid down the rope were badly injured with lacerated hands. One woman was obliged to let go the rope at the second story and was taken to the hospital with a broken leg. Landlords should be compelled to furnish some means of escape both front and rear, and should the building be higher than the adjoining building with windows on the side, some means of escape should be placed there also. A simple automatic machine (better than an inch rope) a machine that requires no manifestation on the part of the person making the descent, can be found in this market at a very nominal cost which if placed in all the apartments not in direct communication with the permanent escapes, landlords would be exempt from all responsibility and it would be an act of humanity.
The laws of this state should be amended to cover such sail accidents as the above. The Hotel and boarding-house law is all wrong. As it stands it reads, every boarding-house having more than fifteen rooms (15) above the ground floor should have a one inch manilla rope or other better appliance, etc., etc.
It should read, every room above the ground floor used as a sleeping-room etc., etc. Private houses should also be provided with a something on the top floors where the half (as a rule) sleep and I am glad to be able to say, that many private dwellings in this city, are provided with our “little life saver.” Good things come slow, but I assure you Mr. PIditor, the time is not far distant when every family will be provided by the landlord or at his own expense with some kind of a portable something to be used in case of fire.
ROBT. D. EVANS. Supt.