WITH OUR READERS
Business Block Swept by Fire
To the Editor:
On January 26, one of the worst fires in the Borough of Fairlawn, N. J., occurred. The Radburn Plaza Building was swept by fire. The blaze was discovered by a passing police officer at 2:54 a. m. Four engine and one truck company responded to the alarm, but when the blaze spread, three fire companies from nearby Hawthorne were called in. The volunteer firemen from both towns fought the fire for more than six hours before bringing it under control.
An estimate by Fire Chief Richard Kuiken put the damage at over $150,000.
Twelve firemen were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and lacerations. None of them required hospitalization.
Four stores, two offices, the community library and the meeting room of the Radburn Church were completely gutted.
The building suffered a loss of $45,000 on March 23, 1942, when it was damaged by fire.
Very truly yours. RICHARD ADELMAH, Fairlawn, New Jersey
What a Town Can Do for Its Fire Department
To the Editor:
Herew ith are three photographs show -ing what our town has done for the fire department in the last four years.
We are a town located south of Boston. with a normal population of 8,500 people, but at the present time have a daytime population of some 45,000 people, due to the Bethlehem-Hingham Ship Yard and the Naval Ammunition Depot, the largest on the east coast, being located here.
Our fire department is made up of eighteen permanent men including the chief and one captain, and ninety volunteers. We have, out of this total, thirty-nine men including one permanent man in the armed service, which makes our fire service under considerable strain for manpower.
We are fortunate in having mutual aid agreements with our neighboring towns of Hull. Cohaset and Weymouth and with the above mentioned war plants. We also aid a great deal the above way plants in any large fires that do occur within their confines.
During the past year we had a reponse of 383 alarms with a fire loss of $12,211.00, which is the lowest in our town for a great many years, yet the number of alarms was the second greatest in the history of the department.
Very truly yours. ALEERT W. KIMBALL, Chief, Hingham, Mass.
Christmas Fire Prevention Display
To the Editor:
The photograph herewith is of our Christmas fire prevention display. As the photograph shows we had two Christmas trees, one decorated with ornaments, silver icicles and lights, a really beautiful tree, and the other burned. Under the latter we had laid rags and papers that has been burned to give it a very realistic look. In the center of the table and above the trees we had a sign wishing every one a Merry Christmas.
Right below this was a sign reading “This scene (meaning the tree on the left in the picture) can change to this one (the one on the right) by not being fire conscious.” Below this was a sign saying “Obey this sign,” (the sign reading No Smoking).
In front of the table we placed the various types of extinguishers namely, soda acid, foam, carbon tetrachloride, sand and plain water. The sign above them read “Do you know how to use each of these? If not. ask your fireman to show you how, now?”
On a board, six by twelve, on the right of the picture we placed fire prevention posters, pictures of the major blazes of 1942 and headlines from local newspapers on large fires throughout the country stating on the sign, “You remember these; and don’t let it happen here.” Also on this board we had a number of fire prevention slogans, such as “Use Underwriters approved electrical equipment”, “Keep your dust rags and oily mops in metal containers”, etc.
This display was set up in our fire house on the Tobyhanna Military Reservation, Tobyhanna, Pa., of which Captain Thomas J. Lavin is the Post Engineer and Fire Marshal.
Our department consists of eighteen men, working twenty-four hours on and twenty-four hours off. We have two trucks, one a 300-gallon pump or brush truck and a 500-gallon pumper carrying 1600 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose, 500 feet of 1 1/2-inch hose and a 150 gallon booster tank to which is attached two reels with 150 feet of booster hose on each reel.
(Continued on page 180)
(Continued from page 149)
Janies H. Oakey, Assistant Chief, Tobyhanna Fire Department.
Activities of the Philadelphia, Pa., Fire Department
To the Editor:
The close of 1943 saw the Philadelphia Fire Department have its fourth worst year in history as far as the total number of extra fires are concerned.
During the month of December there were twelve extra alarm fires. This number was the greatest for any December. Only once before there were more than twelve extra alarm fires in a month. That was in January of 1918 when there were fifteen.
The month of December reads like this: The fourth of the month saw a bad three-alarm cellar fire with two firemen hurt, then a paint manufacturing plant on the fifth for two alarms, on the seventh a theatre fire for two alarms and with a fireman seriously injured and also a bakery fire for three alarms with a battalion chief and an acting lieutenant injured. The eighth saw a machine shop doing war work afire and another fireman injured. On the thirteenth there was a four-alarm fire in a storage warehouse and a fireman injured. On the twentieth the department answered two alarms for an apartment cellar fire. In the early morning of the twenty-third, firemen answered a three-alarm and a two-alarm fire within a half block of each other and only a few hours apart. Three firemen were injured in these fires. On the twenty-fourth another threealarm fire in a fruit market occurred, injuring a fireman. Early on Christmas morning firemen answered five alarms for a fire in an apartment house. The janitor and a tenant were killed and four firemen injured in this fire. The last in the series occurred on the morning of the thirty-first when a six-alarm fire swept a war plant. One fireman and an acting battalion chief were injured. The chief was injured when he led a rescue party into another building next door to save the lives of four firemen who were trapped.
Ten of these fires happened in subzero weather. The month also saw several pieces of apparatus and a battalion chief’s car in accidents with a battalion chief, his driver and several firemen injured.