Watch Hill Saves Summer Homes

Watch Hill Saves Summer Homes

The fire department of Watch Hill, R. I., has won an enviable reputation for itself as one of the most efficient small town volunteer forces in New England.

Under the leadership of Chief A. W. Hoxie the Watch Hill firemen have successfully coped with a number of serious fires in the frame buildings of the large summer colony.

In the old days when a summer residence took fire it was usually doomed to destruction from the start. When the Watch Hill House and several other large wooden hotels were destroyed some years ago in a spectacular blaze that nearly wiped out the community, steps were taken to insure against such calamities in the future.

A modern firehouse of stucco construction was built on a lot of land near the harbor and situated close to the congested business street that is the main thoroughfare of the community. A triple combination motor pumping engine was purchased and placed in service, also a combination chemical and hose wagon.

Only a few months after the re-organization of the department a fire broke out in a pretensious summer home located on a hill exposed to the full force of the wind. The motor pumper swung into action and although the flames had obtained great headway the firemen succeeded in saving the structure. Several other fires of a similar nature were extinguished with small loss and the residents soon realized that the town had an efficient and well equipped department ready to answer all alarms sent in on the improved alarm system.

Members of the Department in front of the Firehouse

Calls for help from nearby communities have also been answered and aid was sent to Westerly at the time of the fire there which threatened to sweep the heart of the city.

Watch Hill is one of the most popular seashore resorts on the southern New England coast. The Ocean House and the Hotel Plympton are the two largest hotels, both frame structures. There are many handsome residences as well as a business section, large bathing pavillions. golf clubs, yacht club, etc. The section is hilly, but the department is aided by excellent roads.

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