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.