The Peril of Overhead Wires.
“Wind and electricity,” says The Somerville (Mass.) Journal, “played sad havoc in this city Saturday night. Wind blew over the pole at the corner of Belmont street and Highland avenue, and the electric wire located thereon came in contact with the fire alarm telegraph wire, when the mischief began. In a twinkle the current ran into the steamer house, at the corner of Highland avenue and Walnut street, and soon the flames encompassed the fire alarm arrangements in the second story. The closets were all on fire, and the flames coursed their way upward on the outside. The lightning and electric arrester on the long table were at once burned out, and in a few minutes nearly $2000 damage was done. Nor did it stop here. The current ran to the house of Chief Engineer Hopkins, Engineer Byrns, H. L. White, and the fire alarm box in the American Tube Works. The damage done was nothing compared to the liability to have more follow. The city’s whole fire alarm system was thrown out,and Sunday was a serious day for this city. Chief Hopkins and the committee on fire department of the city council labored all day to devise means of safety. Ropes were attached to all the bells in the city not so provided, and the firemen called to the several houses to do patrol duty through the day and night. Fortunately, there were no alarms until Monday morning about seven o’clock, and then the old fashioned bell ringing began, and hundreds flocked in the direction of the ringing. The fire was on Brastow avenue, but was not serious, except that no water could be had to throw into the burning closet. Since Sunday workmen have been engaged in straightening matters out ; but the constant strike upon the alarm denotes that the system is still unrepaired. One circuit is now running, and every means will be used to have the repairs speedily made.
—The citizens of Wyandotte, Mich., will vote on the question of erecting water-works April r.