rF ^ i^bV^kl "^ \0j^i(i-5>t Given By Boston Fire Department ANNUAL REPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT AND WIRE DIVISION (MTY OF BOSTON YEAH ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1931 'i^iffim'^^ \S, IB O 3 T© N liV _^/j »F BOSTON PRINTING DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT AND WIRE DIVISION CITY OF BOSTONT YEAR ENDIISTG DECEMBER 31, 1931 CITY OF BOSTON PRINTING DEPARTMENT 1932 Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from Boston Public Library http://www.archive.org/details/annualreport1931boston OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT. Edward F. McLaughlin, Fire Commissioner. Herbert J. Hickey, Executive Secretary of the Department. Henry A. Fox, Chief of Department. George L. Fickett, Superintendent of Fire Alarm Division. Walter J. Burke, Superintendent of Wire Division. Edward E. Williamson, Superintendent of Maintenance Division. Albert J. Caulfield, Deputy Chief in Charge of Fire Prevention Division. William J. McNally, M. D., Medical Examiner. [Document 12 — 1932.] ANNUAL REPORT OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR THE YEAR 1931. Boston, March 1, 1932. Hon. James M. Curley, Mayor of the City of Boston. Dear Sir, — I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the activities of the Boston Fire Department for the year ending December 31, 1931, as required by section 24, chapter 4, of the Revised Ordinances of 1925. Fire Loss. The total fire loss for 1931 in the City of Boston, estimated by the insurance companies, amounted to $4,113,419.53. This is $480,203 less than the loss in 1930. There were thirty-seven fires where the loss was over fifteen thousand dollars as compared with sixty-five in the previous year. There were only two fires showing a loss of over one hundred thousand dollars, namely, January 31, Eldredge Baker Company et al., 35-37 Sleeper street $188,794 01 March 16, Wolpert Shoe Company et at., 76-78 South street 108,203 13 2 City Document No. 12. During the year the department responded to less calls than in 1930. Eight thousand six hundred and ninety-four alarms were transmitted to the department and were actually responded to. In 1930 the depart- ment responded to 8,701 alarms. Of the 8,694 responded to last year 4,865 were box alarms and 3,829 were still and automatic alarms. There were 911 false alarms during the year, an increase of 213 over the previous year. The reduction in the fire loss of almost half a million dollars is noteworthy at this time. According to tra- ditions in the fire service the fire loss usually mounts during the periods of depression, but the contrary has been our experience this year. The present efficient condition of the fire fighting force, the vigilance of the fire prevention division, and the prosecution of arson cases have undoubtedly been instrumental in keeping the loss at a lower figure. Fire Prevention. The personnel of the fire prevention division has been diligent in its duties during the past year and the work of the inspection division has been under increased supervision by the assignment of more superior officers to this division. During the year all classes of buildings, with the exception of one and two family dwellings, were inspected. Number of inspections (initial) Number of reinspections Number of complaints reported . . . Conditions corrected by personal contact Number of personal inspections by officers Prevention Division Oil burners inspected Oil burners reinspected Oil burner defects corrected .... of Fire 371,405 13,361 12,522 22,767 2,477 1,339 463 451 Reports on hazardous conditions were sent to other departments as follows: To State Fire Marshal To Building Department 120 3,163 Fire Department. To Health Department To Department of School Buildings Notices sent to correct hazardous conditions Personal services by Constable .... Prosecutions for violation of Fire Prevention Laws 10 6 897 486 23 During the Christmas holiday season a detail of inspectors was maintained in and about the shopping and high value districts and in other locations where shopping congestion prevailed. Four officers and thirty- four privates were engaged in this service. Intensive inspection campaigns were conducted in certain sections of the city and in addition daily inspec- tion was maintained in several building groups when certain hazards and conditions existed. In addition to inspections made by Fire Prevention inspectors the following number of inspections Mere made by District and Company Officers: Building inspections . 69,686 Theatre inspections 3,874 Schoolhouse inspections 3,871 Public buildings inspected 914 Car house inspections . 101 Inspections at Long and Deer Islands .... 24 Total number of inspections made by Fire Prevention inspectors, district and company officers . . 467,966 Arson. The Massachusetts Legislature by chapter 383 of the Acts of 1931 amended the Fire Prevention Act so that the Fire Commissioner was authorized to investigate the causes of fires in Boston with particular reference to suspicious and supposed incendiary fires. Previous to this amendment the Fire Commissioner of Boston was not allowed to conduct any investigation of a fire after it was found that the fire was of suspicious origin. This year I went to the Legislature and petitioned for authority to conduct investigations of suspicious fires in Boston because I felt that a large number of fires could be traced to arson and that prompt investigation and prosecution might bring about desirable results. The Fire Department began to exercise its authority under the amendment on June 4, and an arson squad of six firemen and four police officers was organized. This squad is on duty twenty-four hours a day, stationed 4 City Document No. 12, at Headquarters, and is under the direct supervision of Deputy Chief Albert J. Caulfield of the Fire Prevention Division. During the year 108 fires were reported with suspicious causes and 99 with unknown causes. The record of the Arson Squad during the first seven months of operation is as follows: Number of persons interviewed at Division Office relative to suspicious fires 20 Number of inquests held and one case reopened for new evidence 17 Number of cases submitted to the District Attorney's Office for action 12 Number of inquests held where insufficient evidence was obtained for prosecution 5 Number of cases presented to the Grand Jury by the District Attorney 8 Number of indictments returned (in four cases more than one person was indicted) 12 Number of ''No Bills" returned 1 Number of persons under indictment awaiting trial . .12 Number of civilian witnesses summoned to inquests . .114 Number of department witnesses 102 The Arson Squad received valuable assistance from the Law Department and the chemist of the Public Works Department. Buildings. A new fire station is being erected at the corner of K and Fourth streets, South Boston, to provide quarters for Engine Company 2 and Ladder Company 19. Engine Company 2 is now located at O and Fourth streets, and the quarters of Ladder Company 19 are at 715 East Fourth street. The present quarters of both these companies are cramped and' unsuited for the needs of the department and the district served by them, particularly at Ladder Company 19 where the building cannot house the proper apparatus for South Boston, and the street is so narrow and the present building so constructed that apparatus cannot leave without delay. The new building at the new location, which will be ready early in 1932, will provide proper housing facilities for the men and apparatus in a loca- tion which will give both companies a more efficient operating radius. Fire Department. 5 Fire Apparatus. During the year twenty-eight motor vehicles were purchased, tested and placed in service as follows: 8 American-LaFrance combination hose cars (Booster pumps and tanks) . 1 American-LaFrance rescue squad car with special body. 1 American-LaFrance city service ladder truck. 1 American-LaFrance V 12 combination pump and hose car, 1,000 gallons. 1 American-LaFrance V 12 combination pump, hose and booster car, 750 gallons. 1 American-LaFrance 85 foot aerial truck. 1 American-LaFrance tractor. 1 Re-fueling unit complete. 9 Hupmobile sedans. 2 Model A Ford coupes. 2 Model A Ford roadsters with pick-up bodies. Seven reserve hose cars and one school car were sold at public auction. Eleven small cars were traded in when new cars were purchased. The motor equipment of the department, at the present time, consists of the following: In Service. In Reserve. Pumping engines Steam engines (tractors) . Hose cars Aerial ladder trucks City service trucks Water towers Chief oflicers' cars School car Rescue cars Fuel cars Portable lighting plants . Wrecking car Motorcycle (fire patrol) . Commercial trucks Emergency cars (Ford) . . Ford coupes 50 48 22 9 3 35 10 3 6 City Document No. 12. High Pressure Service. The records of the two high pressure stations for the year are as follows: station No. 1. Station No. 2. Total alarms to which pumps responded Water discharge recorded on Venturi meters = 206 118,000 gallons 243 415,500 gallons * Owing to the construction of the Venturi meters they do not record flows under 600 gallons per minute. During the year fifty high pressure hydrants were placed in service, bringing the total up to 501, and the mileage of high pressure mains was increased from 16.8 miles to 18.45 miles. The equipment of High Pressure Station No. 1 was transferred from the original location at Battery and Commercial streets (Lincoln Power Station of Boston Elevated Railway) to a new location at 165 Kneeland street (Edison Station of the Edison Electric Illuminating Company). The work of moving the equipment to the new station commenced September 10, 1931, and was completed October 12, 1931. The new station was accepted and control commenced by the Fire Depart- ment on December 14, 1931. Engine 44, ''Angus J. McDonald," was taken out of service on December 16, 1931, and placed in storage^ having been replaced by a new fireboat. Engine 44, ''Matthew J. Boyle," on December 8, 1931. A special appropriation of $350,000 for this boat was provided by Your Honor in 1930. The contract for the construction of the boat, at a cost of $327,825, was awarded to George Lawley & Sons Corporation of Boston, and the keel was laid January 29, 1931. The boat was launched May 23, 1931. Trial tests were held on November 15, 1931, and the boat was placed in service December 8, 1931. The total cost of the boat, including architect's fees, was $349,504.20. This rugged steel constructed boat, with a pumping capacity of 12,000 gallons per minute at 150 pounds pressure, is designed to operate at full capacity for forty-eight hours without replenishing. Length, overall, 125 feet; beam, over guards, is 29 feet 6 inches; gross tonnage, 338.91 tons. The loaded draft is limited to < 5 z o o z > < -I UJ > o 02 UJ z o z UJ < o UJ FiEE Department. 7 10 feet 6 inches, and the boat has a speed of 12 knots per hour. The general dimensions of the boat have been determined to meet most effectively the particular conditions prevalent at the Port of Boston. The steam for propulsion and for fire fighting is generated by two Babcock and Willcox water tube boilers, built for a working pressure of 250 pounds per square inch and fired by eight Todd oil burners. The boat will be propelled by a vertical, direct-acting, compound, condensing engine of approximately 1,100 horse power. There are four turbine-driven, two-stage centrifugal Dean Hill fire pumps. The water from the pumps is handled through seven 3,000-gallon monitors or guns, one of which is mounted on a steel tower 30 feet above the water. There are also twenty 3^-inch hydrant connections on the deck house, from which hose lines can be run either to rail guns or to points on shore. Hydrants. The following is a list of the hydrants in service for fire purpose, as of December 31, 1931, showing the number and different types of same: Public. Private. Ordinary post Boston post Lowry Boston Lowry Batchelder and Finneran post. Boston High pressure Chapman post Ludlow post Matthew post Coffin post 3,718 2,618 810 367 3,295 120 501 77 4 Totals. 11,511 131 22: 33; 5 5 111 55 13 4 Fire College. After several months of study and preparation by a special committee a Fire College was organized in the department, and opened on November 30, 1931, with a 8 City Document No. 12. comprehensive course of lectures and demonstrations in fire fighting and fire protection. This college was established with a view to improving the morale and efficiency of the department, and in order that the officers and men be taught a systematic and uniform method of operation at fires, and be provided with a technical knowledge necessary to their work, a course of twenty-seven lectures and demonstrations was pre- pared, some of which required the time of two or three days. The lecturers at the college comprised officers of the department and experts in various insurance lines, public service corporations, building construction and water service. Forty officers from the Boston Fire Department and thirteen officers from outside departments attended the first session of the college. These officers are obliged to attend the college on their own time as well as while on duty. So many requests were received from depart- ments outside the city that it became necessary to limit the number of applicants. As soon as the first session is completed another session will be started, and this will be repeated until all officers and members have had an opportunity to attend the college. Mutual Aid. The department responded to sixty-one (61) alarms of fire outside of the city limits as follows : Milton 39 Somerville 14 Newton 3 Brookline 2 Revere 1 Saugus 1 Salem . 1 FIRE ALARM SERVICE. The fire alarm service of the department has been maintained at its usual high standard. In order to improve "Mutual Aid" service between Boston and the adjoining cities and towns, special circuits were made between fire alarm headquarters in Boston and the central fire station in Chelsea and the fire alarm offices in Somerville, Cambridge and Brook- line. Tapper service was also extended in underground cables from the Boston line to Newton Fire Headquarters. Fire Department. 9 Alarms are transmitted both ways on these circuits and devices are connected into these circuits making it possible for instant telephone communication thereby eliminating the possibilities of uncertainties and mis- understandings. Approximately 7,000 feet of ducts were laid under- ground and over 53,000 feet of cable were hauled into underground ducts, 24,000 feet for extension of service, 17,000 feet to replace smaller sizes with larger cables and 12,000 feet to replace cable which was defective. Thirty-one box posts were installed, eight were relocated and ten broken posts were replaced. Of the forty fire alarm boxes installed, thirty-five were placed on streets by the department, two were installed by the Depart- ment of School Buildings, and three are on private property. Six boxes were relocated and five were removed from service. All boxes and posts were painted. Oferatiivg Records. First alarms . 4,865 Second alarms . 75 Third alarms 18 Fourth alarms 1 Total 4,959 Box Alarms Received but not Transmitted. Same box received two or more times for same fire . 408 Adjacent boxes received for same fire .... 287 Received from boxes but treated as stills ... 10 Total 705 Still Alarms Received and Transmitted. Received from citizens by telephone .... 2,737 Received from Police Department by telephone . . 210 Received from Fire Department stations . . . 1,186 Received from boxes but treated as stills ... 10 Mutual aid alarms (adjacent cities and towns) treated as stills 61 Emergency service treated as stills .... 146 Total 4,350 Still alarms received by telephone for which box alarms were afterwards received and transmitted . 346 10 City Document No. 12. Still alarms received by telephone for which box alarms, not received, were transmitted (11 p. m. to 7 a. m.) . 328 Automatic and A. D. T. Alarms. Boston Automatic Fire Alarm Company: Transmitted by company to this department . . 136 Box alarms received and transmitted after auto- matic alarms had been struck .... 3 Box alarms, not received, but transmitted, after automatic alarm had been struck (11 p. m. to 7 a. m.) . . 19 Automatic alarms received at fire alarm office but not transmitted 11 American District Telegraph Company : Transmitted by company to this department . . 114 Box alarms received and transmitted after A. D. T. alarms had been struck 5 Box alarms not received but transmitted after A. D. T. alarms had been struck (11 p. m. to 7 a. m.) 44 A. D. T. alarms received at fire alarm office but not transmitted 15 Summary of Alarms. Alarms received: Box alarms, including multiples 5,664 Still alarms, all classes . . . . . . . 4,350 Boston automatic alarms 136 A. D. T. alarms 114 Total received from all sources .... 10,264 Exclude following Multiples 94 Box alarms received but not transmitted . . . 705 Still alarms for which other alarms were trans- mitted 674 Automatic alarms for which other alarms were trans- mitted 33 A. D. T. alarms for which other alarms were trans- mitted 64 1,570 Total alarms, with eliminations, to which apparatus responded 8,694 Multiple Alarm Fires. With two alarms 56 With three alarms 17 With four alarms 1 Fire Department. 11 Fire Alarm Box Records. Boxes from which no alarms were received . Box tests and inspections Note. — All street box doors are tested weekly. Fire Alarm Boxes in Service. Total number Owned by Fire Department Owned by School Buildings Department Owned by Boston Automatic Fire Alarm Company Privately owned Fire Alarm Boxes in Districts. District 1 . . . 92 District 2 . . . 74 Districts ... 45 District 4 ... 86 District 5 . . . 75 District 6 ... 102 District 7 ... 106 Districts . . .128 Division 1 . . . . Division 2 . . . . Division 3 And one box in Chelsea. District 9 District 10 District 11 District 12 District 13 District 14 District 15 Summary of Work Done in 1931. 464 10,611 1,609 1,150 257 52 150 108 129 145 104 157 137 120 372 481 755 Approximate Number of Feet. Line wire used in new work Line wire used for replacements Line wire removed from service Aerial cable installed .... Conductors in same Aerial cable removed from service Conductors in same Underground cable installed (extensions) Conductors in same Underground cable replaced . Conductors in same Conduits laid underground Ducts in same Ducts abandoned Manholes built Handholes built Fire alarm boxes installed by this department Fire alarm boxes installed by School Buildings Department Fire alarm boxes installed on private property Fire alarm boxes relocated . . • . 33,890 30,160 27,025 2,280 4,560 1,300 4,400 23,944 146,125 29,169 800,020 6,847 ,001 ,175 5 6 35 2 3 6 12 City Document No. 12. Fire alarm boxes removed from service Box posts installed Box posts relocated Box posts reset or replaced by new Cable posts installed .... Cable posts relocated .... Cable posts replaced by new . Underground cable boxes attached to poles Underground cable boxes removed from service 5 31 8 10 3 2 2 13 14 WIRE DIVISION. Regular inspections were made of the permanent installations of all theatres, places of amusement, and public halls, together with new installations and changes throughout the city. In addition, three inspectors were assigned to the inspection of old work with good results as in a great many cases, necessary changes were required, in the interests of safety and the requirements of the department were complied with. Thorough investigations were made of all fires and accidents due to electrical causes and reports of the same are on file. During the year there were one hundred and thirty- one fires reported as due to electrical causes, eighteen of which were found not due to electricity, and five either undetermined or in radio. There were seven manhole explosions; five pole fires and sixteen accidents, one of which was fatal. The following is a table showing a summary of work done by the interior division: Notices of new work received 17,951 Number of permits issued to turn on current . 13,642 Number of incandescent lamps inspected . . 2,265,930 Number of motor inspected 17,659 Number of buildings in which wiring was com- pletely inspected 3,311 Number of inspections made 31,233 Number of inspections made of theatres, places of amusement and public halls .... 1,658 Income from permits to perform electrical work, $57,980.82 Exterior Division. The underground district for the year 1931 as pre- scribed under authority of chapter 240 of the Acts of 1926, comprised the following streets: Dorchester. — Joseph street, from Welles avenue to Brent street; Sydney street, from Crescent avenue to Savin Hill Fire Department. 13 avenue; Winter street, from Bowdoin street to Adams street; Church street, from Adams street to High street; Pierce avenue, from Adams street to Plain street; Neponset avenue, from King square to the Neponset Bridge. Roxbury. — Worthington street, from Longwood avenue to the Fenway; St. Alphonsus street, from Ward street to Calumet street; Fenwood road, from Huntington avenue to Brookline avenue. West Roxbury. — Woodlawn street, from Hyde Park avenue to Forest Hills Cemetery. South Boston. — Summer street, from East First street to East Second street; L street, from East Second street to Broadway; West Third street, from West Second street, a distance of 2,025 feet to a point 100 feet east of the east line of D street, making a total distance of four miles as provided by law. In these prescribed streets from which poles and overhead wires were to be removed, there were standing on January 1, 1931, a total of two hundred and five (205) poles (not including the trolley poles of the Boston Elevated Railway which are exempt) owned by the Edison Electric Illuminating Company, New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, supporting a total of six hundred and thirty-eight thousand nine hundred (638,900) feet of overhead wires owned by the Edison Electric Illuminating Company, New England Tele- phone and Telegraph Company, Boston Elevated Rail- way, Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, Boston Fire Department (Fire Alarm Branch) and Boston Police Department (Pohce Signal Service). During the past year the inspectors of this division have reported ninety-eight (98) poles decayed at base and sixteen (16) poles leaning, or a total of one hundred and fourteen (114) poles, which were replaced by new poles or reset by the various companies at the request of this department. The following table shows the overhead work for the year from January 1, 1931, to December 31, 1931, inclusive : Number of poles in new locations .... 151 Number of poles replaced, reset or straightened, 607 Number of poles removed 246 Number of poles now standing in the public streets 17,924 Number of defects reported 1,028 Number of defects corrected 801 (Other defects in process of correction.) Number of notices of overhead construction . 6,542 14 City Document No. 12. Number of overhead inspections . . . . 20,801 Number of overhead reports 7,179 Amount of overhead wires removed by owners (in feet) 2,211,979 Underground Construction. The ducts used for the underground conduits of the drawing-in system are of the following type: 1. Vitrified clay (laid in concrete). 2. Fiber (laid in concrete) . 3. Iron. 4. Wood. In side or residential streets special underground construction for electric light and power purposes (110 and 220 volts), of the type known as ''Split Fiber Solid Main System/' has also been installed. The electrical approvals for underground electrical construction numbered . . . . . 2,868 Number of inspections of underground electrical construction 8,660 Number of reports of underground electrical construction 2,656 Table Showing Underground Work for the Year 1931. Company. d C o O "o 3 Q "o (P O t-i o fE Boston Elevated Railway Boston Consolidated Gas Com- pany. Edison Electric Illuminating Com- pany. Boston Fire Department (Fire Alarm Branch). Boston Police Department (Police Signal Service). School Buildings Department Boston Low Tension Wire Asso- ciation. New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. Western Union Telegraph Com- pany. 4,356 657 59,860 4,436 556 500 44 10,520 199 17,086 4,815 649,468 4,436 556 496 44 37,454 398 43,112 37,582 1,397,095 40,980 39,296 11 1 317 5 1 11 37 2,102 33 10 3 155,849 2,157 24 Totals . . . 81,128 714,753 1,716,071 346 2,209 Note. — "Split Fiber Solid Main System," of the Edison Electric niuminating Com- pany is included in the above figtires, comprising 3,897 feet of conduit and 7,681 feet of duct. Fire Department, 15 Table Showing the Amount and Distribution of Boston's Electrical Power, December 31, 1931. C0MP.\NY. -sis K go |«o 1^ o3 „ M Capacity of Incandescent Lamps in Kilowatts. 03 (H ^ o C3 O ^ O o :St3 . "o 2 a ° is 35,320 54,424 222,570 292,816 4,305 * 3,000 125 140 15 * 353,353 6,000 106 75 84,800 * 2,000 215 21 Edison Electric Illuminating Company, 66 Quaker Building Company 620 500 400 360 1 1 Totals 90,864 516,146 7,570 15 359,534 87,015 91 'Unknown. (Meter capacity connected to lines of Edison system 1,129,520 kilowatts.), Recommendations. 1. During the past two years I have made an exhaustive study of the fires and their causes in this city, particularly since the passage of legislation author- izing the Fire Commissioner to investigate and institute criminal proceedings in case of supposed incendiary fires. This study made at various angles always led to one conclusion, namely, that the crime of arson is more prevalent in this community than many familiar with the situation in this city are willing to admit. A thorough, consistent and careful investigation of all fires presents the most convincing evidence that the majority of fires are not accidental. The Fire Preven- tion Division and Arson Squad are exercising the greatest vigilance possible for the purpose of exposing arson and punishing those responsible for it. I strongly recommend a continuance of this policy and that every- thing be done to encourage and enlarge this particular activity. 2. The fire stations of the department are being maintained in the best possible condition, yet there are a few which should be rebuilt and relocated when the financial condition of the city will permit. The first location which should be considered is the station at Longwood and Brookline avenues. This building is old, unsuited for a. modern fire station, and is in a location where it cannot give the greatest measure of service to the city. The erection of a new fire sta- tion at a location nearer the schools, hospitals, and 16 City Document No. 12. residences in the Roxbury district should replace the present building at Longwood and Brookline avenues. Other locations which should receive consideration when the opportunity presents itself are the following: Engine 3 and Ladder 3, now located at the corner of Bristol street and Harrison avenue, should be rebuilt and relocated somewhere in the vicinity of Harrison avenue and Wareham street. Engine 23 on Northamp- ton street could be included in this project. Engine 8 and Ladder 1. — The former is located on Salem street, a very narrow, congested street. Ladder 1 is an old station on Friend street. The property occu- pied by Ladder 1 will probably be needed in connection with the new East Boston Traffic Tunnel development. A new house for both companies somewhere on Hanover street would serve the district more effectively. Engine 16 and Ladder 6, now on River street, Dor- chester Lower Mills, should be relocated somewhere in the vicinity of Gallivan Boulevard and Codman street. Engine 20 and Ladder 27, now at Walnut street near Neponset Bridge, should be relocated in the vicinity of Neponset avenue and Victory road. Engine 25 and Ladder Company 8, at Fort Hill square, should receive consideration when funds are available for rebuilding. A few of the older stations are in good locations but should be remodeled to provide proper accommodations for the men and apparatus. Among these are Engine 13, Engine 22, Engine 24, and Ladder 9. A very important matter which will require considera- tion within a short time is the enlargement of the repair shop of the Maintenance Division so that the depart- ment will have sufficient space for the storage of reserve apparatus and to give more efficient service in the re- placement of disabled apparatus. In the Fire Alarm Division the practice of replacing a specified number of old fire alarm boxes with boxes of the latest type should be continued. The policy of furnishing an up-to-date, fool-proof signal system is most essential in order that the Fire Department may receive prompt notice of fires. Respectfully submitted, Edward F. McLaughlin, Fire Commissioner. Fire Department. 17 RECAPITULATION OF EXPENDITURES 1931. Fire Department .... $4,620,818 60 Wire Division 102,351 50 New Fireboat 269,929 35 New Fire Station, South Boston District ...... 138,313 83 ),131,413 28 INCOME. Permits for fires in open spaces, fireworks, blasting, transportation and storage of ex- plosives, garage and gasolene storage, etc. Sale of old material (condemned hose) Sale of old material (junk) .... Sale of badges Property damage (door-cable) . . Property damage (fire alarm boxes and posts) Property damage (fire apparatus) . For labor performed by this department in Janu ary, 1931 For refund on cable reels in February . For sale of miscellaneous items, beds, stove, lan- tern, frames, old grinding valve machine, auto winter inclosure, etc. Wire Division: Income from permits to perform electrical work $20,404 25 270 52 1,175 83 524 00 126 66 883 32 362 20 182 96 9 80 13 00 ,952 54 57,980 82 $81,933 36 18 City Document No. 12. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT. Henry A. Fox. The chief is in charge of the fire protection of the city, which is divided into three divisions, each com- manded by a deputy chief, which are subdivided into fifteen districts, each commanded by a district chief. Assistant Chief of Department, Henry J. Power. Division 1. Deputy Chief, John J. Kelley. Headquarters, Ladder House 8, Fort Hill Square. This division comprises Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. District 1. District Chiefs, Thomas E. Conroy and Napeen BOUTILIER. Headquarters, Ladder House 2, Paris Street, East Boston. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 5, 9, 11,. 40, 47 (fireboat), Ladders 2, 21, 31. District 2. District Chiefs, Philip A. Tague and Thomas F. Ward. Headquarters, Engine House 50, Winthrop Street, Charlestown. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 27, 32, 36, 50, Ladders 9, 22, Rescue 3. District 3. District Chiefs, John J. Kenney and John F. Good. Headquarters, Ladder House 18, Pittsburgh Street. Apparatus Located in the District. — ■ Engines 25, 38, 39, 44 (fireboat). Ladders 8, 18, Water Towers 1 and 3. District 4- District Chiefs, Avery B. Howard and John F. McDONOUGH. Headquarters, Engine House 4, Bulfinch Street. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 4, 6, 8, 31 (fireboat). Ladders 1, 24. Fire Department. 19 District 5.. District Chiefs, John F. Watson and Dennis J. COUGHLIN. Headquarters, Engine House 26-35, Broadway. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 7, 10, 26, 35, Ladder 17, Rescue 1, Water Tower 2. Division 2. Deputy Chiefs, Thomas H. Downey and William F.. QUIGLEY. Headquarters, Engine House 22, Warren Avenue. This division comprises Districts 6, 7, 8, 11. District 6. District Chiefs, Michael J. Teehan and Edward G. Chamberlain. Headquarters, Engine House 1, Dorchester Street, South Boston. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 1, 2, 15,., 43, Ladders 5, 19, 20. District 7. District Chiefs, Michael F, Minehan and Samuel J. Pope. Headquarters, Engine House 22, Warren Avenue. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 3, 22, 33,, Ladders 3, 13, 15. District 8. District Chiefs, Louis C. Stickel and Daniel Martell. Headquarters, Ladder House 12, Tremont Street. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 13, 14, 37, Ladders 12, 26. District 11. District Chiefs, Thomas H. Andreoli and Cornelius J. O'Brien. Headquarters, Engine House 41, Harvard Avenue, Brighton. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 29, 34, 41,, 51, Ladders 11, 14. 20 City Document No. 12. Division 3. Deputy Chiefs, Walter M. McLean and Frank A. Sweeney. Headquarters, Ladder House 23, Washington Street, Grove Hall. This division comprises Districts 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15. District 9. District Chiefs, William H. McCorkle and Edward J. Locke. Headquarters, Engine House 12, Dudley Street. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 12, 23, 24, Ladders 4, 23, Rescue 2. District 10. District Chiefs, Francis J. Jordan and Charles H. Long. Headquarters, Engine House 17, Parish Street, Meeting House Hill. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 17, 18, 21, Ladder 7. District 12. District Chiefs, Timothy F. Donovan and Joseph W. Shea. Headquarters, Engine House, 28 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 28, 42, 53, Ladders 10, 30. District IS. District Chiefs, Charles A. Donohoe and Patrick J. Y. Kelley. Headquarters, Engine House 45, Corner Washington and Poplar Streets, Roslindale. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 30, 45, Ladders 16, 25. District Ill- District Chiefs, James Mahoney and James F. Ryan. Headquarters, Engine House 46, Peabody Square, Dorchester. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 16, 20, 46, 52, Ladders 6, 27, 29. Fire Department. 21 District IS. District Chiefs, John P. Murray and Michael D. Sullivan. Headquarters, Engine House 48, Corner Harvard Avenue and Winthrop Street, Hyde Park. Apparatus Located in the District. — Engines 19, 48, 49, Ladder 28. Alarms. Building fires 3,708 893 357 106 129 899 488 911 224 735 143 18 50 Automobile fires Rubbish, vacant lot Rubbish near buildin Dump . Brush or grass . Other outdoor fires False . Accidental Needless Rescue Marine Out of city calls g Total alarms 8,661 Fires in Buildings. Construction of Buildings. Fire resistive Second class Frame . Other types Basement . First floor . Second floor Third floor . Above third floor Roof . Outside Point of Origin. Extent of Fire. Confined to point of origin Confined to building Spread to other buildings 379 1,804 1,522 3 3,708 1,025 1,042 574 386 193 158 330 3,708 2,599 1,027 82 3,708 22 City Document No. 12. Causes of Fires in Building Chimneys, soot burning . Defective chimney Sparks from chimney Defectively installed heater Rubbish near heater . Hot ashes .... Fuel oil burners . Starting fires — kerosene or gasolene Careless smoking Children and matches Other careless use of matches Defective wiring Electric appliances and motors Home dry cleaning . Flammable liquids near flame Kerosene lamps, stoves . Grease, food on stove Clothes, furniture too near fire Spontaneous ignition Fireworks .... Thawing water pipes Sparks from machines City gas and appliances . Miscellaneous known causes Incendiary or suspicious . Unknown .... 420 59 126 105 7 71 79 10 931 147 288 120 145 6 39 94 114 87 123 27 13 6 14 301 158 218 Total 3,708 Fire Department. 23 24 City Document No. 12. •joop;no ^^mo •SSBJQ JO qsnjg ■duinQ Suipiing JB8a qsiqqny; •^o'j ^ubo'BjY ijsiqqn^ 00 "O 05 05 IC or o: O CO ■* CD tH o to o 03 CI lO ^ "O t> 00 t^ "O O ffl o 05 ^ CO to Tf ^ ^ C3 (M '"' ^^ CJ O) O) T)H ■* 03 ■* •o l^ 05 00 o c> o •S9liqottio:>ny r^ (M CO ^ IC CT, CO 00 Tt< O: CO --I 1-1 t^ lO CO 00 .-I p 02 o <! ■in^S ssaipaajsi •nag ssaipaaM •jB^uapioov •asiB^ (M CO (M t^ CO CO CO ■* ^ Tr< 03 IM ^ o CO Tt< CD CD CD o 1^ t^ ^ C) IM " (M " (M O) " ot O) Ol C-) 03 1> ;:; 00 IM lO ^ o lO CO o oq CO CD I> t^ ■* CT CD Oi CO CO o C] O ^ O) (M OJ O ■O ■* CO t^ •IB^OX --^ M^ OS '^ O 05 1^ »0 X t^ CO Cs) CD *0 CD O CD CO •u.wou:sjUQ 00 ■* O 03 00 o 05 Oi 00 !M CD •oi^Biuo^ny ■-I C^ OJ --H •-! uapis^tiQ t^ cj 00 oi 05 ^ --I 00 to 05 »o -^ CO CO N •U'BUiqOCJ'B^ 00 >-( CO t^ "-I CO •aoTjoj 03 -^ CO »0 CO »-l ■ejaqraajM CD l^ O 00 ■* "5 ■suns -i^qio ■auoqdaiax ■xog CO O) on IM TjH O: r~ CO o CD on ^ C3 CO CO CO CD "C Tt< lO CO •* -* CO CO ■o Tf O 03 (N IM "-I 00 ■>i< 03 t^ CO CO IM IM IM ■* iM !N •o 00 lo ■* Tji ■* CO IM CO "O CO CO ■^ CO CO 00 oi 00 O t~ ■* 00 ■-< C^ IM CO CO 00 CD C3 fe s <1 O 2 Q Fire Department. 25 o O ■* o o o o o o o o CD o II o QO CO o o ■* o o o o o O in >o t^ ,_, >o ■* CO CO IN 00 t^ >n •^ CO Tj( CO •o 00 •* t~ ■* Ol IN Oi •o 1^ in tD_ o ■* t>-_ CR Oi. t- C)_ 00_ t» t~ •s'tuaciuoQ t-" o ■ 00 oT (N oo" IN N." o" 03 co" I^ oo" o ■* 00 o •* 00_ CO. CO o Oi o >n O co_ ^ T}<" im" ,-H rH rH -* rH rH rH of «« u z p o 05 o o o N. o o Oi o o CM t^ o 00 o o o CO o o ■* o o O r~ u o z 00 ^ o ,_^ IN cq CD CO o 00 CO •* rH R < CO la oq •« ■c 00 !N CO CO ■* o O: ■* oc t- Ol_ °i o co_ 00 t-_ OC CO •* •sSuipjing Tf § f3 g 05 C<l oo" oc co" CO g cd" o> co" >n >ri co" c; 71 5 i> to l>-_ CD t^ t- o cq in o C-l oo_ ^; c*: o 05 CO CD T— i6 cd' la oc" cr t> rH '"' ^ ^ O fi 9» to C3 CO CD O 00 ^_, o ^ CO ^ r>. in Ee] (^^ W Tl< 03 •o 00 CO Oi CO i> 0! CO o ■* 00 •* 00 ^ CO ■* o CO o CO o ■* «3 (N 00 00 lO ■* CM CO o r- ^. c OC (N t>; 02 00 00 iq ■s^ua^uoQ i>r C» h-" (N CO ■* ■o c "O" CM ,. J2 in >o CD cq C o> 00 •o lO Oi in 00 00 <N (M tH l-H I—* 1-H r^ £ m »» ^ J ■fl 00 ^ lO ■* (N oo ■* CO 00 CO t^ 00 IN >o ^. t~ I> t~ IN o o ^ o CO t^ CO t~ t^ 05 IN ^_, t^ 05 ,_, •* OS rH in C<) 00 00 CTi (N 00 Oi O: ■* c h- CO co_ 05 CQ iO OS c£ Oi 1^ cq •sSuipimg; CC lO CO co' cd" Tt oi o ^' oi CO lO oo" to (N t^ CD CO o: CO t^ >n Ol « (M CO ^ T-H f— 1 l-H CM co_ e© oi" •p^XoJC^8^a ^Il^^ox - IN ~^ - - - t> •atq'BiGptsnoQ sSbuibq o (O t> m •O -■ ■* CO CO "< •* CD m c^ ■^ 00 c^ CO 00 cq 00 CM ^ CM CO m •;q3i]g aacmBQ « 00 1—1 (N oc tc o (N ir. cc a c in CM co_ cm" CO t~ Oi CD 00 CO CD Oi o 2 C^l ■* in »c ■^ c^ o 00 t> lO CO c CO CO CO •auo^ aSBuiBQ co_ S <; c< t* Oi lO 00 •o __l ■<J< >o CD Oi CI •sjaq^^O o^ papua^xg 00 CO Ol CO ^ ^ 00 lO oo O: in b- 00 t^ •auipxmg o^ pauguoo c c^ Cv ^ CO CO >c CO CO 00 C£ IN to ^ CO 05 00 o CO 00 O o t- Oi CO c o Tt^ b- Oi c. CO ■* Oi •moo-jj oi pauguoQ O) iM IN IN ^ s c^ CM cq CM in cT ■sil«0 A]0 }o ;no b- •O IN lO CD CO o in cc ^ CO cq c CM CM 00 ■auuBj^ 05 o t. , IP II % > 1 t- c < > ^ 1 1 0. 4 £ U c c a £ > c 2 i £ c a C c i- 26 City Document No. 12. Causes of Fiees and Alarms, from January 1, 1931, TO January 1, 1932. Automobile 893 Rubbish, vacant lot 357 Rubbish, near building . . . 106 Dump 129 Brush or grass 899 Other outdoor fires 488 False 911 Accidental 224 Needless bell and still .... 735 Rescue 143 Marine 18 Out of city calls 50 Chimneys, soot burning. . . 420 Defective chimney 59 Sparks from chimney 126 Defectively installed heater, 105 Rubbish near heater 7 Hot ashes 71 Fuel oil burners 79 Starting fires (kerosene or gasolene) 10 Careless smoking 931 Children and matches .... 147 Other careless use of matches 288 Defective wiring 120 Electric appliances and motors 145 Home dry cleaning 6 Flammable liquids near ^ flame 39 Kerosene lamps, stoves ... 94 Grease, food on stove .... 114 Clothes, furniture too near fire 87 Spontaneous ignition 123 Fireworks 27 Thawing water pipes 13 Sparks from machines .... 6 City gas and appliances. . 14 Miscellaneous known causes 301 Incendiary or suspicious . . 158 Unknown 218 Total 8,661 Fires Extinguished By 1-4 a O e i 03 3 1931. ■^ o .-^ ^ CO 02 to 3 a 4) O 3 03^ Is _2m 1 a a. S 3 § <o W M o K PM § o 64 28 154 15 30 34 16 70 39 101 34 43 44 6 81 51 51 39 53 33 23 32 21 34 34 20 120 159 108 86 106 81 40 46 24 26 21 13 24 23 30 19 28 33 23 38 30 30 23 24 14 16 23 19 July . 17 16 34 27 90 13 SO 23 17 43 55 67 21 21 25 134 153 170 19 10 29 34 41 50 29 28 53 22 20 30 Totals 641 325 1,462 290 395 379 216 Fire Department. 27 Fires Where Losses Exceeded $15,000. Date. Location and Owner. Loss. 1931. Jan. 20 126-138 High street, G. A. Armstrong, Inc., et al $85,246 66 Jan. 27 33 Lakeville place, Ella C. Adams et al 15,692 83 Jan. 28 118-122 Main street, Charlestown Furniture Company et al. 18,328 52 Jan. 29 155-165 Hanover street, Luna Restaurant Company etal. 15,439 92 Jan. 31 35 and 37 Sleeper street, Eldridge Baker & Co. et al 188,794 01 Feb. 5 277 and 279 Northern avenue, Broomfield Manufactur- ing Company et al. 19,714 36 Feb. 6 969-985 Bennington street, Orient Gardens Theatre et al. 79,421 65. Feb. 7 2-10 Tremont street. Victory Knitwear Stores et al. . . . 20,319 10 Feb. 8 41 and 43 Chelsea street, J. P. Coppleman etal 33,893 18 Feb. 10 74 West Second street, National Outlet Manufacturing Company et al. 20,767 21 Feb. 12 20-24 Newbury street, Elizabeth Arden Beauty Parlor et al. 27,088 07 Feb. 15 24 Wellington Hill street, C. Cohen etal 15,044 09 March 8 43 and 45 Kingston street, Hennessy and Lippa et al. . . 20,609 34 March 16 76-86 South street, Wolpert Shoe Company, Inc., et al.. 108,203 13 March 23 108 and 110 Winthrop street, L. Goldstein etal 15,377 58. March 23 1337-1357 Washington street. Old Colony Furniture Company et al. 73,689 69 April 19 367-371 Broadway, Harvard Shoe Company et al 23,313 02 May 2 751 and 753 Shawmut avenue, A. Berkman et al 20,637 96 May 5 120 Business street. Atlas Garment Company et al 17,704 00 May 20 80-84 Pearl street, Wetmore Savage Company 89,920 09 June 19 76 and 78 Pearl street, Wetmore Savage Company 22,156 78 June 21 32 Brookledge street, P. H. Frank etal 24,017 00 Aug. 8 26 Portland street, F. and W. Lighting Company et al. . 16,751 43 Aug. 15 29 10 Esmond street, J. Salvo et al . 17,048 60 Aug. 449 and 451 Washington street, Touraine Glove Com- pany et al. 21,326 15 Sept. 10 1024 and 1026 Boylston street, Fenway Furniture Shoppe et al. 16,345 35 Sept. 13 12 Kilsyth terrace, P. Caputo 31,921 18 Sept. 19 93 Cummings street, Daly Plumbing Supply Company, 56,384 00 Sept. 23 133 and 135 Essex street. Bay State Silk Company etal. 21,370 96 Oct. 25 540-544 East Broadway, M. J. Perkins Post No. 67, American Legion et al. 18,859 80 Oct. 26........ 364-370 Boylston street, Plotkin Brothers etal 21,238 74: 28 City Document No. 12. Fire Losses. — Concluded. Date. Location and Owner. Loss. Nov. Nov. Dee. 193!. 17 23 16 24 25 27 12-16 Bromfield street, 1610-1622 Blue Hill a etal. 427 East Eighth street, 126-144 Commercial et al. 6-14 Portland street, P 7 Howland street, Mrs Collins & Fairbanks et al venue, W. T. Grant Company- $28,121 22 94,187 81 56,236 00 Dec. Dec. street, S. G. Shaghalion, Inc., 15,316 05 19,887 76 Dec. S. Berkwitz et a^ 16,750 70 Statistics. Population, January 1, 1932 (estimated) Area, square miles Number brick, etc., buildings Number wooden buildings Fires in brick, etc., buildings Fires in wooden buildings Fires out of city Not in buildings, false and needless Total alarms .... 786,976 47.81 43,527 93,197 2,186 1,522 50 4,903 8,661 Fire Loss for the Year Ending December 31, 1931. Buildings, loss insured $2,328,245 78 Contents, loss insured 1,785,173 75 Total loss insured Marine loss t,113,419 53 ,613 85 Yearly Loss for the Last Fifteen Years. Marine Loss not Included. Year ending January 1, 1918 $3,981,227 1, 1919 2,822,109 1, 1920 2,577,584 1, 1921 3,139,566 1, 1922 4,010,201 1, 1923 3,304,595 1, 1924 6,286,299 •1, 1925 4,735,595 1, 1926 5,407,070 1, 1927 5,199,965 1, 1928 . . . . . 3,694,642 1, 1929 3,887,250 1, 1930 4,129,926 1,1931 4,593,622 1, 1932 . . . . . 4,113,419 Fire Department. 29 • ymm ■*\ po ^O \ Os oo \ 75 © ^ a: s 00 P < 1 > m • i o^ mX z g s \ u *^ \ \ • as \ (/5 g r* \ a \ Qi K t^ o § 1 '^ t/5 1 ^ vO e C^ R < ^ < . Urn o iS O H ©V lr<. Qjf • < i\ E o^ tN \ CJ o • (^ WM^V E S V a. ^^ \ < >v \ o g O o o o o o « O o o o o O O o m O I'd o \ri O ©V QO 00 tN rs V© V© 30 City Document No. 12. Alarms for the Past Ten Years. Year. Bell. Still and Automatic. Totals. 1931 1930 1929 1928 1927 1926 1925 1924 1923 1922 4,727 3,934 4,601 3,808 4,473 3,979 3,867 3,829 3,492 3,840 3,762 4,108 3,798 3,904 3,640 4,353 3,239 4,002 2,733 3,401 Roll of Merit. Carl V. Anderson. Carl S. Bowers. James J. Buchanan. William 0. Cheswell. Dennis M. Condon. Walter P. Corbett. Michael J. Dacy. James E. Downey. Thomas H. Downey. Dennis Driscoll. Joseph P. Hanton. Timothy J. Heffron. 8,661 8,409 8,452 7,696 7,332 7,870 7,702 7,993 7,241 6,134 Each fire is treated as having only one alarm. John E. Fitzgerald Medal. John J. Leary, for 1922. Daniel J. O'Brien, for 1923. Thomas F. Kilduff, for 1924. Dennis M. Condon, for 1927. Joseph P. Hanton, for 1929. Walter Scott Medal. Dennis M. Condon, for 1922. James H. Curran, for 1923. Edward J. Crowley, for 1924. Gilbert W. Jones, for 1927. John J. Boyle, for 1929. Gilbert W. Jones. Henry J. Kelly. Martin A. Kenealy. John J. Kennedy. Frederick F. Leary. John J. Martin. Edward McDonough. James F. McMahon. Thomas J. Muldoon. Edward J. Murphy. Arthur A. Ryan. Michael J. Teehan. CITY OF BOSTON PRINTING DEPARTMENT ;V"''': J'''■''^^' W:.''} !i¥;KJ>'