WEEKLY EPITOME OF CURRENT EVENTS IN THE FIRE SERVICE

WEEKLY EPITOME OF CURRENT EVENTS IN THE FIRE SERVICE

Chief T. W. Haney, of the Jacksonville (Fla.) fire department, states that the high pressure water system recently tested by engineers representing the national board of fire underwriters showed that the pumps had exceeded specifications. Chief Haney also stated that the figures of the test would be furnished as soon as they were received from the engineers.

The fire marshal’s office in Kentucky has been unusually active of late, several suspicious fires having been given a thorough probing. An investigation is now being made into the burning of the Palace Hotel, the Hanks store and their buildings at Campton, Ky. Six men have been arrested by the police at Paducah, Ky., charged with firing a vacant store building. It is alleged that they were hired to do so by others.

Troy, N. Y., is to have a fire insurance patrol. The ordinance directs the Commissioner of Public Safety to cause “the establishment, maintenance and proper manning of a fire insurance patrol, properly equipped with men and apparatus to protect and save merchandise, property, wares, fixtures, buildings and other commodities exposed to damage by fire or water.” All the paraphernalia is to he carried in a vehicle either driven by motor or drawn by horses. The cost of maintaining the patrol is made a charge on the fire insurance companies benefited.

Twenty-two St. Paul firemen were precipitated three stories to the ground when the third story of a building gave way. Assistant Chief McNally and Pipeman RemakeJ were seriously injured and taken to a hospital. All the other firemen were severely injured, though none of them fatally. Two engine companies working on the third floor of the building and members of the salvage corps were on the second floor. Those on the third floor crushed down through the second, which in turn gave way, carrying the salvage corps men with them to the basement. The loss is estimated at $75,000.

After a short debate, in which Governor Foss was roundly criticised for his attitude on the bill relative to the height and weight of firemen, the Massachusetts House concurred in the Senate amendment of the bill, giving the council in ctiics and the selectmen in towns authority to fix the height and weight without limit. As it went to the Governor, this bill provided that the local authorities might make regulations relative to height and weight, except that they could not fix the height below five feet five inches. Governor Foss objected to this limitation, and at his request the bill was recalled by the Senate.

From a fire hazard viewpoint Richmond, Va., is one of the best cities in the South. In the matter of its buildings it is noted for highgrade construction and the absence of shingle roofs on dwellings in every part of the city. During a long period of years most excellent work has been done by the Richmond firedepartment. both in preventing and in handling fires. While no city may be considered conflagration proof, Richmond has reached a point where it is believed such a catastrophe is extremely improbable. It is, however, not impossible, and it is interesting to note that Richmond is ever on the alert to prevent disastrous fires.

The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, of New York, has moved into new quarters at 1871-75 Broadway, giving it the increased facilities demanded by the rapid expansion of business Three upper floors and basement are used for storage and shop equipment, especial attention being paid to side wire motor truck tires and rims. The new store has the necessary capacity for housing a large number of vehicles while tires are being attended to. This feature will be much appreciated by automobile owners. The Firestone branch is one of the oldest in the city, having been established in August, 1900. It is managed by Dan C. Swander.

Commissioner Roe, head of the Department of Public Safety in Des Moines. Minn., is in favor of many of the improvements for the fire department and city water supply as advocated by J. W. Warnshuis. Mr. Warnshuis recommends fire engines and higher water pressure at time of conflagrations. The report was based upon the findings of E. R. Townsend, of the National Board of Underwriters. “There is no doubt that the fire department needs either additional apparatus or higher pressure to work with. If a high pressure could be afforded by the water company when fires arc being fought,_ at a reasonable price, that would be the most practical and cheapest solution. Fire engines also should be given every consideration,” said Mr. Roe.

The Veteran Firemen’s Association of Jacksonville, Fla., is composed of the living members of the Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Department, which was organized in 1870, and at the present time has about forty members, including those who live in other sections of the country. William C. West, now street superintendent in Jacksonville, and one of the few remaining original members, is president of the association. The veterans are, of course, not fire fighters now, but their regular meetings, where good fellowship and reminiscences of old times takes precedence, arc none the less interesting. The Jacksonville Volunteer Department was among the first in the South to own a real steamer. It was a La France, and is still in commission, having been purchased by the city when the paid department was established in 1885.

The Supreme Court of Mississippi has affirmed the decision of the Tallehatchic County Circuit Court in sentencing C. W. Osborne to the penitentiary for a term of eight years for arson. The case has been on appeal before the court for some months. Mr. Osborne was a prominent citizen of Tallehatchie County, being a merchant and a large land holder. In connection with two accessories, Joe Osborne and A. Tennery, who were also convicted, Osborne, after a long trial, was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment of eight years in the penitentiary. Soon after the conviction he escaped, and was at large for severalmonths. Tennery, one of his confederates, stated that if he was paroled he felt confident he could be useful in securing the arrest of Osborne. The parole was issued him, and with the assistance of the officers, Osborne was soon arrested and jailed, pending the final decision of the state supreme court.

Chancellor Ritney, of New Jersey, recently proved to the satisfaction of the members of the Morristown fire department that he could hold down a position as fireman if he wished to forsake the bench in the Chancery Court. In the fight to save from the flames the home of W. Ledyard Thompson, in Farragut place, the chancellor took a prominent part, helping to raise ladders, carrying hose and incidentally getting a good wetting. The chancellor lives near the Thompson home, and when he saw the flames he ran to assist the firemen. The auto chemical was the first to respond and soon a stream of water was fighting the fire. The chancellor was right up at the nozzle of the hose, holding his position like a veteran fireman. When the truck arrived the chancellor gave a hand at raising the ladders and was one of the first men to climb to the roof with the hose. It took a good hour’s fight to subdue the flames and Chancellor Pitney stayed with the firemen until the fire was out, although he received several duckings.

With the tearing down of the old fire hall on Adams street, Memphis. Tenn., loses one of its oldest landmarks. The building was erected in 1857 for a fire hall, and during more than half a century of its existence has never been used for any other purpose, except for a short time during the war, when it answered the double purpose of being the home of the volunteer fire department and headquarters of the provost guard of the northern army. The volunteer department was organized as far back as 1829. twenty years before the fire hall was built, but the regular paid department was not formed until 1859, two years after the station was erected. The first steamer was purchased and installed in 1860, and because of the interest he had always taken in the fire department, it was named J. D. Danbury, after the alderman by that name. It was a very clumsy machine, with two stacks and four horses, and burned wood as fuel. The old fire bell in the tower of the station will be preserved by Chief McFadden as a relic of the first days of the paid service.

With the completion of fire station No. 6, at Ninth street and Stonewall avenue, Oklahoma City, has nine of the best equipped fire stations, of any citv in the southwest. On the ground floor are the stalls and space for the trucks. The second floor is occupied by the firemen’s apartments, lounging and smoking rooms, baths, lockers and reading room. The full Gamewell fire alarm system has been installed. There are four means of communication between this and the central station. Fire Chief Mark Kesier assisted in the designing of the new station, and it was due to no small extent to his suggestions that the No. 6 station and the central station have been pronounced by experts to be the best in the country. “When all the new stations are completed, the city will have adequate fire protection,” said Chief Kesier. “The city has spread out so that it is necessary to have a large number of stations in order to do away with the long runs. It does not take a big fire long to get started, and to begin an extra long run with, horses that are tired is unsatisfactory.”

Chief Patrick Byron, of the Troy, N. Y., fire department, observed his 70th birthday recently with very little ceremony,-but his friends throughout the state sent in floral offerings. Cigars came m great abundance from volunteer companies of his department, and messages of congratulations poured in on him in profusion. Chief Byron came to America with his parents before he was three years of age. For a while he lived in Cohoes, but the family moved to Albia, then a suburb of Troy, and. when only 18 years of age, the chief joined the Hope Steamer Company of that city, He worked in the knitting mills at Albia, and then learned the molder’s trade and moved to South Troy, where he joined the Osgood Steamer Company, He was made second assistant chief February 14, 1880, and became chief April 80, 1891. The present efficiency of the Troy department is in no small measure due to the untiring efforts and natural fire fighting ability of Patrick Byron. He was a born leader, but his popularity even outside of firemen’s circles would tend to make men follow him. He has been twice injured, so badly that it was thought he would die, but he recovered eventually and was soon-back on the job. Byron, like Chief Croker, believes in strictly fireproof buildings.

The Indian Bureau at Washington has adopted for use in all the Indian schools the system or. fire protection which originated at the Carlisle, Pa., institution. The Carlisle school fire department numbers seventy grown male pupils and the apparatus consists of a hose carriage: largehand engine and pump and complete set of ladders and salvage apparatus. To aid the firemen the 1,200 Indian boys and girls at Carlisle are especially disciplined. The fire alarms are sounded by certain detonations, from the big siren on the boiler house, indicating in which of the twenty-five school-buildings a fire has occurred, and immediately all students and cmployes of the school, no matter where they are on the grounds, leave what they are doing and proceed with all possible haste to. their respectivequarters, where all are formed into line and a complete roll call is made to ascertain who is absent. A guard is dispatched to the room of any absentee to ascertain his or her whereabouts. School buildings and work shops holding from 800 to 800 students are emptied in less than a minute and a half, and in three minutes after the fire alarm all have reached their quarters, formed’ into line and the roll is being called. Fire drills of the entire school arc held several times weekly. The fire brigade boys are those only excused from forming into line before their quarters, and these boys hurry for the apparatus, performing their work with the ability of paid firemen. Large water plugs are located all over the grounds, and hand chemicals, placed in every building, are charged twice yearly.

WEEKLY EPITOME OF CURRENT EVENTS IN THE FIRE SERVICE

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WEEKLY EPITOME OF CURRENT EVENTS IN THE FIRE SERVICE

By changing the location of several fire alarm boxes anti installing a number of new ones, fire protection to property in Canandaigua, N. Y., has been greatly increased.

District Fire Chief Mitchell and five captains arc soon to retire from the Montreal department. Chief Mitchell has been in active service for over thirty years.

In order not to go beyond available funds in Kansas City, Kan., the fire department has been reduced by nine men and one hose wagon has been discontinued.

Residents of Whitestone and Woodhaven in the Borough of Queens, New York, have petitioned city authorities to establish a paid department in their section.

Three pieces of apparatus have been added to the Oklahoma City department at a cost of $14.000. The new equipment consists of one firstsize steam engine, a third-size engine and a combination chemical and hook and ladder truck.

Chief Thomas O’Connor, of New Orleans, has been in charge of the volunteer and paid fire department of that city for forty-one years and has been in the fire service fifty-six years and still is as active and alert as ever.

A thorough investigation and reorganization is to be made in the Indianapolis fire department. It is said that many of the men and some of the officers are no longer physically fit for service and that they should be retired with a pension.

Following an explosion of tar the home of Jerry Miner, near Ponca City, was destroyed, and his wife and five children were burned to death. The husband and an eight-year-old daughter escaped.

Capt. John McGowan, of engine company No. 9. of the New York department, received serious injuries by a fall at a fire in a five-story warehouse and mercantile building on the east side waterfront. He is in St, Gregory’s Hospital.

Chicago’s new fireboat service is the latest section of the fire department to come under an investigation by the Merriam commission. The boats cost the city $109,800 each and were built by the Manitowoc Dry Dock Company.

The municipal power and lighting plant of Brainard, Tex., was burned a few days since, causing a loss of $40,000. The power dam was badly weakened, and there is danger that it may break and flood the surrounding country.

The Norristown, Pa., chamber of commerce will endeavor to have the Chadwick Engineering Works locate in their city. The company manufactures a combination steamer and chemical automobile.

Authorities in Jersey City have requested Governor Fort to take steps whereby the state tenement house commission may be provided with better means of enforcing laws relating to the erection of fire escapes.

A municipal organization in Oklahoma City is conducting an educational crusade for the prevention of fires. It is said that over half of the tires in this country are the result of carelessness and might have been avoided had proper precaution been taken.

The San Diego. Cal., department responded to seven alarms within eight hours an April 23 This is the largest number ever reported in one day in that city. Since January 1 there have been sixty-three alarms as compared with twenty-seven for the same period last year.

What is considered an extremely rare condition in the Philadelphia fire department, existed a fortnight since. From 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon until 12 o’clock Sunday night, a period of 34 hours, not a lire was reported nor an alarm sounded.

Ohio senators, although astonished at the disclosures made by a committee appointed to investigate the office of fire marshal, have defeated a bill to abolish the office. Only three voted in favor of the measure.

For almost a year the fire department of Toronto, Can., has been endeavoring to locate a site for the erection of a new fire hall to protect the Yonge and Bathhurst districts. Numerous sites have been selected, but in each case some objection has been raised.

An automobile fire engine built by the Robinson Fire Apparatus Mfg. Co. has been accepted in Wichita Falls, Tex. Another paid man has been added to the department, and an extension, which will be used to house the new apparatus and for a clubroom, has been added to the old station.

Selectmen and tire engineers of West Springfield, Mass., are endeavoring to agree upon plans for the suppression of false alarms. Of late the annoyance has been very pronounced, and the fire department has frequently been called out for nothing.

A fire in the Fifty-ninth street subway station, New York, a few days ago, blocked evening traffic for almost an hour. Firemen were called, but could do nothing with the flames, which came from a short circuit. The current was cut off, and the fire soon burned itself out.

In the future drivers in the Springfield. Ill., department must bring their horses to a full stop at all railroad crossings. The order is a result of a narrow escape from death of the crew of engine company No. 3, while crossing the Wabash tracks.

The first sane Fourth of July in New York “since the Declaration of Independence” is assured by an order issued by Fire Commissioner Waldo prohibiting “the sale of firecrackers, fireworks and noise-producing devices between June 10 and July 10.

Fire Commissioner Waldo is said to have refused to renew licenses for Daly’s the Bijou and several smaller theatres in New York city, for failure to comply with fire protection regulations. There are 92 places in the city holding theatre licenses and 750 with common show permits.

Mayor W. P. Joyner, of Atlanta, will be one of the principal speakers at the annual convention of the Central New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association, to be held in Auburn in July. Before becoming mayor, Mr. Joyner had served twenty years as chief of the Atlanta fire department.

Jacksonville, Fla., wants better fire protection along its waterfront, but the situation hardly requires the purchase of a fireboat. It has been suggested that some arrangement be made with the ferry company whereby apparatus might be taken to the scene of a fire and the flames fought from the river.

Residents of Bridgeton, N. J„ are wondering what has happened to their best fire engine and threaten an investigation unless it is soon returned. Six months ago the engine was sent away to be repaired and was to have been returned within sixty days. Nothing has been seen or heard of it since.

Anderson, Ind.. with a population of 25.000, has an area of 51/4 miles to cover with its fire department of 22 paid men. Firefighting facilities consist of four stations, four hose wagons, one chemical engine, one truck, a Gamewell fire alarm system of 60 boxes and a fire pressure of about 110 pounds.

New motor apparatus has been added to the equipment of fire departments in Atlanta, Ga.. Fremont, Ohio, and Roland Park. Md.: chemical engines, mostly of a combination type, have been purchased by Audubon. N. J„ Dayton, Ohio, Lancaster, Pa.: Saratoga, Wyo., and York, Pa.: while

Oklahoma City, Okla., and Tacoma, Wash., have each ordered two new steam fire engines.

Sixty persons, comprising 28 families, had a narrow escape in an early morning fire in the Cledan apartments. Chicago. A panic resulted, and the inmates were forced to flee from the building in scant attire. Firemen saved four persons, one of whom is seriously injured. This was the second fire to occur in the apartment within two weeks.

There were 3,197 fires in London last year, and a statement of causes demonstrates that many of the number might have been prevented; 698 were caused by carelessness with lights, 234 were from sparks from fires, 202 from children playing with matches, 129 from accidents with candles, 127 from defective flues, 100 from escaping gas and 95 from defective wiring.

During 1909 there were 118 fire alarms in Albuquerque, N. M., which engaged the firemen 99 hours and 36 minutes. The department traveled a distance of 119 miles in reaching fires and used 1,630 gallons of chemicals in extinguishing them. The total loss on buildings and their contents amounted to $12,769.15, on which $10,000 was paid in insurance.

A bill introduced in the New York legislature by Assemblyman Burgoyne proposes to change the legal definition of a tenement house from “a building occupied by more than two families to a building occupied by more than three families.” Should the measure be passed it would remove from inspection by the tenement house commission and withdraw from sanitary and fire protection regulations 30,000 buildings, in which live 450,000 people.

Although the life of a fireman is one of the most hazardous, there must be a certain fascination about the work, judging by the long period of service followed by some. Statistics show that Chief Wilworth, of Topeka, has been at the head of that department for thirty-eight years: Chief Frederick, of Vincennes, thirty-eight: and Chief Davol. of Fall River, twenty-eight; while the chiefs of the New Orleans, Charlottesville, Va., and Somerville, Mass., have served even longer than this.

Recognizing the advantage in reliability of communication, immunity from damage by the elements, by fire or accidental contact with high power conductors, etc., the city of Richmond, Va., has made special effort to place the wires of its fire alarm and fire signal service underground, wherever possible. An important step in this direction has been the adoption of a city ordinance, requiring all companies laying electrical conduits under the city’s streets, to reserve space in them for the accommodation of the city’s wires.

A succession of mysterious fires in the town of Movers, Clinton county, New York, terrorized the residents, many of whom kept vigilant watch, day and night, to protect their property from incendiaries. It is reported that some of the companies having insurance on property in the town have cancelled their policies and the district attorney and sheriff of the county have made an investigation, but without result, people being afraid to give information for fear of revenge on the part of the incendiaries.

In an address before the Iowa State Fire Prevention Association, Joseph Finnegan, professor of fire protection engineering in Armour Institute. said : “A comparison of the fire loss in the

United States with that in European countries serves to emphasize the extravagance of our annual contribution to the flames. In American cities there are approximately forty fires each year for every 10.000 of population. Tn European cities there are about one-fifth the number, or eight for each 10.000 of population. Berlin has a population greater than that of Chicago. Its annual fire loss seldom is greater than $150,000. The annual fire loss of Chicago is about $5,000,000.”

Hot Work for Dubuque, la. Firemen.

Dubuque, la., has experienced lately a succession of fires that bore every evidence of having been of incendiary origin, and in connection with them one Charles A. Smith has been jailed. He was detected in the act of attempting to fire the Grand Opera House, six attempts to burn this building having been made in four days. The fact that he was formerly employed at the Bijou Theatre, which was also destroyed by an incendiary fire last month, is urged against him. One of the fires suspected as being of incendiary origin occurred last week, when Flick’s box fac-

tory and the plant of the Standard Lumber Company were damaged to the extent of about $80,000. The firemen were summoned by telephone shortly after 5 p. m. and found on their arrival that four lumber piles were burning and the fire was spreading rapidly. They used four engines, 1 each of Metropolitan, Ahrens, Silsby and Amoskeag make, and stretched 6,000 feet of cotton, rubber-lined hose, of which two lengths burst during the fire. Callahan & Larkins shut-off nozzles were used. Light hydrants, four double and four triple, spaced 350 feet and served from 6-inch mains, furnished sufficient water for both engine supply and hydrant streams under 35 pounds pressure for engines and 160 pounds pressure for hydrant streams, 12 being the largest number of streams thrown at any one time, the size of nozzles ranging from 7/8 to 11/2 inches. A one-story and a three-story building were attacked by the flames, one six and the other fifty years old and built of brick, stone and wood.

They had partition walls, but no sprinklers or other protection, and were almost destroyed. The fire burned for thirteen hours, the men being pretty well used up with the prolonged fight and intense heat, but the fire did not get beyond the place of origin, and their work was regarded as in every way satisfactory.

The Fire Service of Richmond, Va.

Richmond, Va., a city of 85,000 population, located on a series of hills with a fire area of 3,523 acres, is dependent for fire protection on a force

of 165 officers and men, 48 being call men. The officers include a chief engineer, W. H. Joynes being the present incumbent; 3 assistant engineers, 16 captains and 145 firemen, including 11 enginemen, a master machinist and, with the 48 callmen, 133 firemen. They form 12 engine companies and 4 truck companies and are equipped with three first-size, two second and four thirdsize La France, 1 third-size Amoskeag and 1 third-size Clapp & Jones steamers in service, with a third-size La France engine in reserve with their hose tenders; 2 Hayes aerial ladder trucks, one 85 and one 75 feet, 1 American automatic

65-foot aerial and 1 Gleason & Bailey village ladder truck, 1 Allen hook and ladder truck, 1 two-horse and 2 one-horse hose wagons in reserve. There are 68 horses in active service and four in reserve. The fire alarm system, operated in connection with the fire department, comprises 203 stations, and there are seventeen large bells on which alarms of fire are sounded. Superintendent Thompson in his annual report calls attention to the excellent facilities the city enjoys for placing its wires under ground, the local telegraph and telephone companies having a widely ramified system of conduits and an ordinance making it compulsory on them to reserve space in them for the city’s wires. The superintendent recommends the continuation of an appropriation each year for this work, so that in time all the fire department wires may be placed under ground. As it is, out of 13 fire houses in the city eight are on the underground service. During the year just closed the department responded to

535 alarms of fire at which property valued at $6,064.061 was involved: the total loss for the year was $160,682.83. The work of inspecting the buildings for fire-prevention purposes has been thoroughly systematized by Chief Joynes. The business sections of the city are divided into 15 districts, each in charge of a captain, who is responsible for its supervision, and he is required to make semi-monthly inspections of the district and report to headquarters any bad conditions discovered. During the year 32.548 such inspections were made. To this the comparatively small

fire loss—an average of $300 per fire—is attributed. Chief Joynes reccommends combination chemical wagons for two of the companies now equipped with simple hose wagons and that all the men in the department be placed on a permanent basis, also the equipment of the city’s tugboat with a sufficiently powerful fire pump to make it of practical assistance in the case of river-front fires. The chief would also like to see the officers of the department provided with automobiles to enable them to reach the scene of a fire as speedily as possible. The total value of the property of the department is placed at

296,092, in which real estate is represented by $180,500.

Boston Drawbridge Disabled by Fire.

The chief draw-tender of the new bridge over the Charles river, connecting Boston and Charlestown, Mass, perched high up in his operating turret in the center of the bridge, was in the act of opening the draw to allow the passage of a tug and tow when he noticed flames, probably started by the wires furnishing electric power to the machinery, in the engine room below. After an unsusecessful attempt to extinguish the fire, he sent in an alarm to the fire department. Before the firemen arrived the heat had caused by undue expansion the explosion of two great tanks in which air is compressed for the operation of the machinery, which scattered over the bridge the contents of several storage receptacles for lubricating oil, so that when they reached the scene there was a hot fire in progres. During the half

hour it burned before it could be extinguished the machinery for operating the drawbridge was practically destroyed and the temper drawn from the steel girders, of which the bridge is built, until its safety is brought into question. About $25,000 is the amount of the known damage, and traffic over the bridge was suspended for several hours. The most serious consequence of the fire is that it shuts off navigation on the Charles river, or at least compels the operation of the big draw by hand, a very slow and laborious operation.

DUBUQUE FIRE BY DAYLIGHT.NIGHT VIEW’S OF DUBUQUE FIRE.