THROUGH NEW JERSEY.
(Especially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING)
Now that the pretty little village of Verona has been badly scorched, and had its post office and three stores destroyed by an early morning fire, a movement has been started to provide a volunteer fire department, with adequate equipment. Verona has a population of 2,300 persons and has shown itself up-to-date and progressive in every way—except in the direction of fire protection. In that line, as well as in that of a water supply, it has been away behind the age. That experience which teaches even fools may possibly prove serviceable now. It was decidedly humiliating that, when assistance was telephoned for to Montclair, the reply was returned that as Verona had no water supply that town’s hose could not be used. I he fire simply burned itself out, as it had gained too big a headway for a bucket brigade to do any good.—I he Montclair fire department seems to be in the unenviable position of a house divided against itself, on account of friction between hose company No. 1 and hook and ladder company No. 1 over some ball or another. The result is that a petition may be presented to the town’s fire committee to change the plans for the new combination fire house which is to be built at Valley road and Bloomfield avenue. Each company was to have a separate entrance, but both could mingle on the main floor, according to the original plans, but the story goes that there will be a petition from the firemen for a partition in the new building to separate the companies. “What dire events from trivial causes spring!” Because of the danger from fire attendant on the use of soft coal, the Newark l ire insurance Exchange is sending a notice to the manufacturers of that city against it. It is proposed either that hard coal should be burned, or that the existing defects in the construction of chimneys and furnaces be rectified. The fire insurance people point out that many fires are started from spontaneous combustion in the places where ?he soft coal is stored, which for convenience in handling are generally close to the boilers and often separated from them only by wooden partitions, is at best one-brick walls. As the coal is almost always damp, any unusual heat (even that of the sun) causes spontaneous combustion to set up, and a fire is the result. The formation of soot is another difficulty, and one harder to deal with. Its accumulation, of course, cannot be avoided, and in its combustion lies the danger. The accumulation of soot from hard coal, however, is much less than from soft; the use of that fuel, therefore, reduces that danger tu the minimum If the manufacturers do not take the proper steps to abate the soft-coal danger, the fire insurance will he increased. “For the good of the service” the Newark fire commissioners have decided to transfer all the members of hook and ladder company No. 2. Kearny is at present the body round which eagles are gathered together The eagles are represented hy the different parties who are yearning for the supply of that city with water. These are Newark. Jersey City, and the Suburban Water company, which in reality is the East Jersey Water company Jerscy City has tern porarily been toiled in its two attempts (one only an attempted attempt) to lay its mains in North Arlington as to connect at the Kingsland main. An injunction will follow if the North Arlington attempt is renewed. Jersey City claims that in June, 1887, it contracted to supply Kearny and Harrison with Passaic water for ten years and did so until 1895. when the East Jersey Water company contracted to do likewise for fifteen years. In that year that company contracted to supply Jersey City for five years and to allow the latter to supply Kearny, which it did till last June. Oil June 8 that company notified Jersey t itv that it would cease to deliver water through the old main, and all deliveries of tintemporary supply would he metered at Montclair. Jersey City, therefore, started to connect the twenty inch main which it owns near the junction of Kearny avenue and Belleville turnpike with its new main, through which the East Jersey sends its supply. Jersey City officials claim they obtained permission to open Kearny avenue for the purpose from the town authorities of Kearny, and were proceeding to do so, when the latter stopped them. It is fully expected that the rights of jersey City will be maintained by the courts, and that the Suburban Water company cannot show that connections cannot legally lie made by Jersey City with the Kingsland main as far as that city, the East Jersey, and the Suburban Water company are concerned. Harrison has let its contract to Jersey City a course which is provoking litigation -and Newark is of the opinion that Kearny would prefer its water to any other, though at present its officials make no sign one way or the other. The mayor is in favor of the West Hudson municipalities combining and driving wells for a common supply, and. if that cannot be done, he prefers Newark over Jersey City and the Suburban Water company.—The fire commissioners of Elizabeth are making arrangements to put the fire alarm wires under ground. They have been in consultation w’ith the Gamewell company on the subject, and will confer with the superintendents of both telephone companies as to the best method to follow. While answering an alarm at Newark the middle horse of the three drawing engine No. 5 was killed hy stepping on a live wire, blown down during a storm. Lieutenant Burke, who was driving, was thrown headlong to the hack of the dead horse and narrowly escaped death from the live wire and the kicks of the other horses. Captain Harrison and the other men rescued him from his perilous position, and the engine went on to the fire with two horses. The board of fire commissioners of Elizabeth has confirmed the proposed increases in salaries as follows: Chief engineer, from $1,100 to $1,300; assistant chief, from $900 to $1,000; secretary, from $1,000 to $1,200; captains, from $800 to $860; extra engineer, from $720 to $S6o; engineers, from $720 to $780; drivers, from $600 to $720; tillermen, from $600 to $720: extra men, from $600 to $720. The commissioners also considered the price which the city is now paying for water, and will endeavor to secure a reduction from the Elizabeth Water company. The city has 308 hydrants and pays $25 a year for each.