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Full text of "Annual report"

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Given By 
Boston Fire Department 



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ANNUAL REPORT 



FIEE DEPARTMENT 

\l> WIRE DIVISION 



(ITV OF BOSTON 



NDIN< MBEJR 31, I !>:57 




EOT 
138 



ANNUAL REPORT 



FIKE DEPARTMENT 

AND WIRE DIVISION 



CITY OF BOSTON 



TEAE ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1937 



CITY OF BOSTON 

PRINTING DEPARTMENT 

1938 






Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Boston Public Library 



http://www.archive.org/details/annualreport1937boston 



OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT. 



William Arthur Reilly, 

Fire Commissioner. 

William D. Slattery, 
Executive Secretary of the Department* 

Samuel J. Pope, 
Chief of Department. 

George L. Fickett, 
Superintendent of Fire Alarm Division. 

Frank L. Kelley, 

Provisional Superintendent of Wire Division. 

Edward E. Williamson, 

Superintendent of Maintenance Division. 

Thomas H. Downey, 
Deputy Chief in Charge of Fire Prevention Division. 

Martin H. Spellman, M. D., 

Medical Examiner. 



[Document 12 — 1938.] 




ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

FIRE DEPARTMENT 

FOR THE YEAR 1937. 



Boston, January 4, 1938. 

Hon. Maurice J. Tobin, 

Mayor of the City of Boston. 

Dear Sir, — I have the honor to submit herewith a 
concise report of the activities of the Boston Fire 
Department and the Wire Division for the year ending 
December 31, 1937. An annual report is required 
under section 24, chapter 4, of the Revised Ordinances 
of 1925. The delay in publishing this report was occa- 
sioned by the fact that the amount of the fire loss for 
the year 1937 was not officially available until May, 1938. 

During the period covered by this document the Hon. 
Edward F. McLaughlin was Fire Commissioner, com- 
pleting his eighth year in office. 

Respectfully submitted, 

William Arthur Reilly, 

Fire Commissioner. 



Fire Department. 



SECTION I— THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. 



FIRE LOSS. 

The total fire loss for the City of Boston, estimated 
by the insurance companies, amounted to $2,204,366.93, 
of which $1,363,660.42 was on buildings and $840,706.51 
was on contents. 

This loss is the lowest experienced in many years, and 
continues the downward trend begun in 1931. The per 
capita loss for the city thus has been steadily decreasing. 



FINANCES. 

Expenditures of the department decreased slightly 
over 1936. I submit below a table showing how ex- 
penditures of 1937 compared with those of previous 
years. 



Year ending December 31, 1937 



1, 1937 






$4,084,327 54 


" 1936 






4,123,856 68 


" 1935 






4,161,328 20 


" 1934 






3,677,085 02 


" 1933 






3,804,226 83 


" 1932 






4,377,844 00 


" 1931 






4,620,818 60 


" 1930 






4,642,216 53 


" 1929 






4,552,265 18 


" 1928 






4,357,568 28 



NEW BOOK OF RULES. 

During the year 1937, the Rules and Regulations of 
the department were revised and a new book of Rules 
and Regulations was issued to the department. This 
new book was very much needed, inasmuch as the pre- 
vious one was issued in 1917, and should be of great 
assistance to all officers and members of the department 
in carrying out their respective duties. 

A new set of regulations governing the response and 
covering of apparatus on alarms of fire was issued to 
the department on January 2, 1937, the major change 
being the striking of the nearest street box following all 



4 City Document No. 12. 

Boston Automatic Fire Alarm Company and American 
District Telegraph Company alarms, thus giving a full 
complement of apparatus in response to such alarms. 
This complied with a recommendation of the National 
Board of Fire Underwriters, following their inspection 
and survey of the department in 1936. The wisdom 
of this practice justifies its continuance as severe losses 
have been avoided in many instances through the full 
response of apparatus. Incidentally, the first alarm 
received for the most serious fire to which the depart- 
ment responded during the year, namely, the Danish 
steamship "Laila," was an automatic alarm. This 
vessel, which was moored at Pier 45, Mystic Docks, 
was laden with nitrate and miscellaneous cargo, and 
the department met and controlled one of the most 
hazardous conditions it has ever encountered. 

HIGH PRESSURE SERVICE. 

The records of the two high pressure service stations 
for the year are as follows: 





Station No. 1. 


Station No. 2. 




238 
78,000 gallons 


252 
409,000 gallons 



* Owing to the construction of the Venturi meters they do not record flows under 600 
gallons per minute. 

MARINE SERVICE. 

All three fireboats regularly assigned to the marine 
service were taken out of service during the year for the 
annual inspection by the United States Steamboat In- 
spectors and necessary painting and repairs of boats, 
main engines, pumps, fire pumps, auxiliaries, etc., were 
made. 

PERSONNEL. 

The following changes in personnel of the fire force 
occurred during the year: twenty-five (25) retirements, 
twelve (12) deaths and three (3) resignations. The 
promotions were: one (1) district chief, eleven (11) 
captains and twenty-eight (28) lieutenants. One hun- 
dred and ten (110) new men were appointed, two (2) of 
whom later resigned. These promotions and appoint- 
ments were greatly needed and aided considerably in 
the strengthening of the fire fighting force. 



Fire Department. 



FIRE COLLEGE. 

The sessions of the Fire College were conducted during 
the year (except during the vacation period). One 
hundred and fifty-eight (158) members of this depart- 
ment and one (1) officer from a neighboring city received 
instructions at the college during the year. 

DRILL SCHOOL — COMPANY DRILLS. 

Ninety-one (91) men on probation successfully com- 
pleted the course of instructions at the Drill School. 
Regular weekly drills were held by all companies in the 
department. In addition, each company in the de- 
partment was given a thorough drill by the department 
drillmaster. 

MUTUAL AID. 

The department responded to seventy-one (71) alarms 
of fire outside of the city limits, divided as follows: 



Milton 


38 


Brookline 


• . . .4 


Somerville 


24 


Newton 


4 


Everett 


1 



FIRE ALARM DIVISION. 

Fire alarms were received and transmitted with no 
delays or failures. Of the 4,948 box alarms received 
and transmitted to the department, 1,400 were false, 
about 28 per cent. This compares with 4,860 received 
in 1936, with 1,328 false, about 27 per cent. The 
Police Department made thirty-five (35) arrests of 
persons sounding false alarms and thirty-five (35) con- 
victions were obtained in court, as compared with 
forty-one (41) arrests in 1936 and thirty-six (36) con- 
victions. 

Because of the small appropriations, only the most 
essential construction work was performed. The streets 
prescribed for the removal of poles and overhead wires 
affected this division but little. In the regular work 
eight (8) box posts were installed, one (1) was relocated 
and eight (8) were reset or replaced; one thousand six 
hundred and fifty-four (1,654) feet of ducts were laid 
underground and two (2) handholes were built. 



6 City Document No. 12. 

Approximately four thousand eight hundred and four- 
teen (4,814) feet of cable was used to extend the under- 
ground system and seven thousand seventy-seven 
(7,077) feet was used for replacements. 

In order to give the new housing project at Old 
Harbor Village proper fire alarm service, an agreement 
was made with the Works Progress Administration to 
share the expense of installing four (4) fire alarm boxes 
with connections thereto. In this work four (4) posts 
were set; two thousand four hundred and sixty-two 
(2,462) feet of ducts were laid underground; four (4) 
manholes and three (3) handholes were built and three 
thousand seventy-five (3,075) feet of cable was installed. 

Eleven (11) public fire alarm boxes, two (2) school- 
house boxes and three (3) private boxes were connected 
into service. Six (6) boxes were removed from service 
and fifteen (15) old obsolete type boxes were replaced. 
The numbers of forty-seven (47) boxes were changed. 
One (1) new box and one (1) new tapper circuit were 
made. Considerable old line wire was replaced and 
many improvements were made in the electrical systems 
of department houses. 

All chiefs' cars are now equipped with radio receivers, 
sixteen (16) sets being installed during the year. Ampli- 
fiers were placed on some cars to improve telephone 
service between fire alarm boxes and fire alarm 
headquarters. 

FIRE PREVENTION DIVISION. 

(A.) Inspection Force. — All classes of buildings were 
inspected, including many one and two family houses, 
with the permission of the occupants, as under the law 
this department has no authority to inspect such types 
of buildings without their consent. 

(B.) License and Permit Division. — The fees received 
for permits, permit and license renewals for the year 
1937 amounted to $27,754.75, as compared with 
$24,430.25 for 1936. 

(C.) Arson Squad. — Under authority of chapter 383 
of the Acts of 1931, two hundred and forty-one (241) 
fires were investigated by the arson squad during the 
year. 

MAINTENANCE DIVISION. 

Thorough inspections and tests of apparatus, equip- 
ment and hose were conducted at various times during 



Fire Department. 7 

the year, and where defects were found, replacements 
or repairs were made immediately so that the efficiency 
of the department might be maintained at a high 
standard at all times. 

During the year, only one (1) motor vehicle was 
purchased, namely, a Studebaker de luxe cruising sedan, 
and a Hupmobile sedan was turned in as part payment 
on this car. 

PUMP SCHOOL. 

One class of the motor pump school was held during 
the year, at which six (6) members of the department 
were instructed in the care and operation of motor fire 
pumps. 

CHAUFFEURS' SCHOOL. 

Seventy-nine (79) members of the department received 
instructions in the chauffeurs' school during the year 
and were certified as operators of department motor 
vehicles. All members rated as chauffeurs were given 
instructions in the care and operation of motor vehicles. 

W. P. A. PROJECTS. 

(A.) W. P. A. Project No. 5578 started during 1936 
and was completed on June 25, 1937. The work con- 
sisted of painting interiors of fire stations, bricklaying, 
carpentry, roofing, steamfitting, concrete work and 
general building repairs. During this time work was 
done in twenty-eight department buildings. 

(B.) Project No. 13160 consisted of painting interiors 
of fire stations, bricklaying, carpentry, roofing, steam- 
fitting, concrete work, general building repairs, and the 
making of fifty-seven (57) safes at W. P. A. work shop 
at Fire Department garage. It was begun and com- 
pleted in 1937 and work was done in four department 
buildings. 

(C.) Project No. 13886 consisted of painting interiors 
of fire stations, bricklaying, carpentry, roofing, concrete 
work and general building repairs. This project was 
started September 25, 1937, and was still going on 
December 31, 1937. During this time work was done 
in nineteen department buildings. 



City Document No. 12. 



BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT 
STATISTICS— 1937. 



RECAPITULATION OF EXPENDITURES, 1937. 



Fire Department 
Wire Division . 



t, 084,327 54 
97,622 53 

1,181,950 07 



ANNUAL REPORT OF REVENUE, BOSTON 
DEPARTMENT, YEAR OF 1937. 

Permits for fires in open spaces; fireworks; blast- 
ing; transportation and storage of explo- 
sives; garage and gasoline storage; oil 

burners; etc $2 

Sale of old material (condemned hose) 

Sale of old material (junk) 

Miscellaneous sales 

Sale of badges 

Property damage: 

Fire alarm boxes and posts .... 
Fire apparatus 



BUILDING STATISTICS. 



Number of brick, etc., buildings 
Number of wooden buildings . 
Fires in brick, etc., buildings . 
Fires in wooden buildings 
Fires out of city 
Not in buildings, false and needless 



2,024 

1,577 

90 

5,996 



FIRE 



,824 65 
444 65 
409 97 
103 24 
372 00 

552 93 
512 43 



5,219 87 



44,425 
93,911 



9,687 



Population, January 1, 1938, 825,537; area, square miles, 47.81. 

FIRES IN BUILDINGS. 
Construction of Buildings. 



Fire resistive 
Second class 
Frame . 
Other types 



155 

1,869 

1,563 

14 



Total 



3,601 



Fike Department 



Point of Origin. 



Basement . 
First floor . 
Second floor 
Third floor . 
Above third floor 
Roof . 
Outside 



1,120 
1,028 
443 
335 
137 
110 
428 



Total 3,601 

Extent of Fire. 

Confined to point of origin 2,940 

Confined to buildings 594 

Spread to other buildings 67 

Total . 3,601 

Causes of Fires in Buildings. 

Chimneys, soot burning 415 

Defective chimney 48 

Sparks from chimney 52 

Defectively installed heater 98 

Rubbish near heater 50 

Hot ashes 78 

Fuel oil burners 307 

Starting fires, kerosene or gasoline .... 30 

Careless smoking 1,087 

Children and matches 249 

Other careless use of matches 119 

Defective wiring 75 

Electric appliances and motors 192 

Home dry cleaning 2 

Flammable liquids near flame ...... 35 

Kerosene lamps, stoves . . ... . . . 12 

Grease, food on stove 85 

Clothes, furniture too near fire 48 

Spontaneous ignition 133 

Fireworks 45 

Thawing water pipes 2 

Sparks from machines 19 

City gas and appliances 20 

Miscellaneous known causes 191 

Incendiary or suspicious 52 

Unknown 157 

Total 3,601 



10 City Document No. 12. 



CAUSES OF OUTDOOR FIRES. 

Automobile 827 

Rubbish (vacant lot) 413 

Rubbish (near building) 150 

Dump 126 

Brush 916 

Marine 20 

Other outdoor fires '. 808 

Total . . . . 3,260 

Rescues (emergency calls) 464 

Out of city calls 90 



Fire Department. 



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14 



City Document No. 12. 



Fires Where Losses Exceeded $15,000. 



Date. 


Location and Owner. 


Loss. 




1937. 






Jan. 


6 


519-523 Atlantic avenue, Osborne Office Furniture Com- 


$101,758 15 


Feb. 


5 

5 




23,479 90 


Feb. 


235-237 Congress street, Donovan and Sullivan Engrav- 


47,031 59 


Feb. 


13 




19,555 40 


March. 2 




28,355 50 


March. 20 


148-156 Brighton avenue, Harvard Garden, Inc., et al. . 


62,511 21 


Marcl 


i23 

i28 




24,700 87 


Marcl 


8 B street, T. M. Buckley Company 


21,966 21 


April 


5 


875 Massachusetts avenue, Harvey Tire and Rubber 


31,534 49 


April 


21 


180-186 Purchase street, Office Furniture Exchange 


26,192 57 


April 


21 


49-51 South street, Besse, Osborn & Odell, Inc., et al.. . 


33,909 31 


June 


20 


1863 Commonwealth avenue, F. G. Deban 


18,787 21 


July 


4 


975 Massachusetts avenue, Troy Brothers & Co., Inc.. . 


28,014 18 


Aug. 


27 




33,730 07 


Aug. 


28 


644-646 Washington street, Hotel Brigham Company. . 


48,360 29 


Sept. 


5 


162-164 Lincoln street, H. Simons Shoe Company et al. 


19,346 27 


Sept. 


21 

13 




16,043 01 


Oct. 


91 Braintree street, Thompson Norris Company et al.. '. 


105,302 62 


Oct. 


30 




43,290 15 


Nov. 


6 


68-74 Warrenton street, La Salle Hotel, Inc., et al 


16,018 00 


Dec. 


10 




15,570 30 


Dec. 


22 


Somerset street (Court House), George A. Fuller Co. 


17,000 00 


Dec. 


29 


197-199 Friend street, Royal Textile Company et al 


22,375 00 



Fiee Department. 



15 



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16 City Document No. 12. 



FIRE ALARM STATISTICS. 



Operating Records. 

First alarms 5,520 

Second alarms 69 

Third alarms 19 

Fourth alarms 6 

Fifth alarms 1 



Still Alarms Received and Transmitted. 

Received from citizens by telephone . . 2,756 
Received from Police Department by tele- 
phone 415 

Received from Fire Department stations . 1,119 

Received from boxes but treated as stills . 12 
Mutual aid alarms (adjacent cities and towns) 

treated as stills 71 

Emergency service treated as stills . . 317 

Less 

Still alarms received by telephone for which 
box alarms were afterwards received and 
transmitted 203 

Still alarms received by telephone from 
which box alarms, not received were 
transmitted (11 p. m. to 7 a. m.) . . 333 



5,615 



4,690 



536 

Net total still alarms to which appara- 
tus responded 4,154 

Automatic and A. D. T. Alarms. 

Boston Automatic Fire Alarm Company: 

Transmitted by company to this depart- 
ment 177 

Box alarms received and transmitted after 

automatic alarms had been struck . 1 

Box alarms not received but transmitted 

after automatic alarms had been struck, 167 

Automatic alarms transmitted — no box 

alarms 3 

Automatic alarms received at fire alarm 

office but not transmitted ... 6 



Fire Department. 



17 



American District Telegraph Company: 

Transmitted by company to this depart- 
ment 80 

Box alarms received and transmitted after 

A. D. T. alarms had been struck . . 

Box alarms not received but transmitted 

after A. D. T. alarms had been struck, 72 

A. D. T. alarms transmitted — no box 

alarm 1 

A. D. T. alarms received at fire alarm office 

but not transmitted 7 



Total alarms, with eliminations, to which appa= 
ratus responded: 

First alarms 5,520 

Still alarms 4,154 

Automatic alarms 3 

A. D. T. alarms 1 



9,678 



Multiple Alarm Fires. 



With two alarms 
With three alarms 
With four alarms 
With five alarms 



54 

16 

5 

1 



Fire Alarm Box Records.* 

Boxes from which no alarms were received . 
Box tests and inspections .... 



439 
11,923 



False Alarms. 



Box alarms received and struck 
Box alarms treated as stills 

Telephone 

A. D. T 



Automatic . 



1,400 

6 

34 

1 

1 



1,442 



Accidental and Needless Alarms. 

Accidental 247 

Needless (bell and still) 583 

Fire Alarm Boxes in Service. 

Total number 

Owned by Fire Department 

Owned by School Buildings Department 



830 



1,708 

1,256 

255 



* Note. — All street box doors are tested weekly. 



18 



City Document No. 12. 



Owned by Boston Automatic Fire Alarm Company 

Privately owned 

Total boxes on posts 

Total boxes on poles 

Total boxes on buildings 

Total boxes in buildings 



46 
151 
887 
467 
175 
179 



Summary of Work Done. — Fire Alarm Repair Shop. 



Line wire used in new work (approximately) 

Line wire used for replacements (approximately) 

Aerial cable installed, new work 

Conductors in same .... 

Aerial cable replaced 

Conductors in same .... 

Underground cable installed, new work 

Conductors in same .... 

Underground cable replaced . 

Conductors in same .... 

Submarine cable replaced 

Conductors in same .... 

Ducts laid underground . 

Ducts abandoned .... 

Manholes built 

Handholes built 

Fire alarm boxes installed by Fire Department 

Fire alarm boxes installed by School Buildings De 

partment 

Fire alarm boxes installed, private 

Fire alarm boxes relocated 

Fire alarm boxes removed from service 

Box posts installed .... 

Box posts relocated .... 

Box posts reset or replaced by new 

Underground cable box (attached to pole) installed 

Underground cable boxes removed from service . 



Feet. 

4,200 

55,800 

1,200 

6,800 

2,600 

5,200 

7,890 

47,492 

7,077 

116,550 

250 

4,750 

4,116 

796 

4 

5 

11 

2 
3 
1 
6 
12 
1 
8 
1 
2 



Fire Department. 



19 




20 



City Document No. 12. 



FIRE PREVENTION STATISTICS. 



Inspections, Etc., by Fire Prevention Division. 

Number of inspections 100,413 

Number of personal inspections (by captain in 

charge of inspection force) 2,551 

Number of oil burners, alleged defective, inspected . 1,517 

Number of reinspections (conditions requiring cor- 
rection) 12,762 

Number of corrections (including those made at time 

of first inspection) 13,695 

Number of conditions found corrected on reinspec- 

tion (other conditions being followed up) . . 10,771 

Number of court prosecutions (for violations of Fire 

Prevention laws) 2 



Inspections by Fire Force. 

Buildings inspected by district officers .... 
Inspections by district privates (weekly), reports from 

district officers 

Schoolhouses inspected by district officers . 
Theatres inspected by district officers . 
Public buildings inspected by district officers 
Carhouses inspected by district officers 
Deer Island (monthly inspections) by District 1 
Long Island (monthly inspections) by District 3 



19,002 

54,082 

3,791 

3,980 

861 

72 

12 

12 



Hazardous Conditions Reported to Other Departments. 

Building Department 835 

School Department 3 

Health Department 9 

Penal Institutions Department 2 

Public Works Department 7 

State Fire Marshal 52 

State Department of Public Works .... 6 



Miscellaneous. 

Notices to correct hazardous conditions sent to 

owners and occupants of premises .... 494 

Personal services by constable 427 

Reports from Building Department . . . . 319 
Reports from district officers, causes of fires unknown 

and undetermined 157 

Reports from district officers, suspicious fires . . 52 



Fire Department. 21 



Arson Squad Activities. 

Number of police inspectors assigned to Fire Prevention 

from Police Headquarters 2 

Number of Fire Prevention Inspectors on Arson Squad . 6 

Number of investigations by Arson Squad .... 241 

(a) Reported as being suspicious . . . .44 

(b) Reported as being unknown or undetermined, 103 

(c) Miscellaneous 94 

Number of persons interviewed by Fire Prevention Office, 24 

Number of hearings held 13 

Number of hearings that on account of insufficient evi- 
dence were not presented to District Attorney . . 6 

Number of cases presented to District Attorney . . 7 
Number of cases presented to Grand Jury by District 

Attorney 3 

Number of cases where indictments were returned . . 3 

Number of "No Bills" 

Number of cases awaiting action by District Attorney . 4 

Number of trials 4 

Number of cases conviction obtained 2 

Number of persons convicted 2 

Number of persons found "Not Guilty" .... 5 

Number of persons arrested 8 

Number of persons under indictment awaiting trial . . 4 

Number of persons summoned at hearings .... 82 

Civilian witnesses 82 

Department witnesses 55 



22 



City Document No. 12. 



MAINTENANCE DIVISION STATISTICS. 



Motor Equipment Inventory. 



Type. 



Pumping engines 

Hose cars 

Aerial ladder trucks 

City service ladder trucks 

Water towers 

Mack wrecker 

Rescue cars 

Fuel cars 

School car 

Foamite wagons 

Lighting plants 

Chief officers' cars 

Ford coupes 

Emergency Ford cars 

Commercial trucks 




Hose Inventory. 
Hose Purchased. 



2|-inch leading cotton hose . 
3-inch leading cotton hose . 
3|-inch leading cotton hose . 
4§-inch hard rubber suctions 
f-inch chemical hose 
1-inch deck hose . 

Total .... 



Hose Condemned. 



2|-inch leading cotton hose . 
3-inch leading cotton hose . 
3§-inch leading cotton hose . 
4^-inch hard rubber suctions 
f-inch chemical hose 
1-inch deck hose . 



Feet. 

8,000 

2,000 

500 

63 

4,500 

50 

15,113 



Feet. 

8,100 

3,700 

422 

53 
2,350 

50 



Total 



14,675 



Fire Department. 



23 



Hose Repaired. 



2^-inch leading cotton hose . 
3-inch leading cotton hose . 
3|-inch leading cotton hose . 
4|-inch hard rubber suctions 
1-inch deck hose . 
1-inch chemical hose 



Feet. 

18,750 

4,550 

700 

10| 

150 

5,450 



Total .... 










29,610^ 


Hose in Service. 


Feet. 


2|-inch leading cotton hose 121,200 


3-inch leading cotton hose . 










33,200 


3^-inch leading cotton hose . 










7,567 


3-inch flexible suction hose . 










825 


3§-inch deluge hose 










613 


4|-inch hard rubber suction 










1,239 


1-inch deck hose . 










1,000 


f -inch chemical hose 










23,050 


f-inch Foamite hose 










900 


Total 


189,594 


Hose in Stock. 


Feet. 


2J-inch leading cotton hose 11,550 


3-inch leading cotton hose . 








2,350 


3-inch leading cotton hose (reissue) 








1,400 


3J-inch leading cotton hose . 








775 


3-inch flexible suction hose . 








66 


3^-inch deluge hose 








12| 


4|-inch hard rubber suctions 








55 


1-inch deck hose 








100 


f-inch chemical hose 








2,200 


Total . . . - . 










18,508! 



24 



City Document No. 12. 



HYDRANTS. 
(In service, December 31, 1937.) 



Type. 



Private. 



Ordinary post 

Boston post 

Lowry 

Boston Lowry 

Batchelder & Finneran post. 

Boston 

High Pressure 

Chapman post 

Ludlow post 

Matthew post 

Coffin post 



Total. 



127 

28 

33 

5 



55 
13 
4 

384 



Fire Department. 



25 



SECTION II— THE WIRE DIVISION. 



WIRE DIVISION. 



Personnel. 

Superintendent Peter F. Dolan of the Wire Division 
died January 25, 1937. 

Inspector Frank L. Kelley was appointed as Acting 
Superintendent of the Wire Division January 29, 1937, 
and was made Provisional Superintendent, with the 
approval of the Civil Service Commission, July 22, 
1937. 

The following is a summary of the personnel of the 
Wire Division as of December 31, 1937: 



Quota. 



Rating. 



Number 
Working. 


Number of 
Vacancies. 


1 * 





1 





22 





7 


3 


1 





1 





7 






1 
1 

22 

10 

1 

1 

7 



Superintendent 

Chief Inspector 

Interior Inspector. . 
Exterior Inspector.. 
Chauffeur-Stenciller 

Chief Clerk 

Clerk 



: Provisional. 



Regular and periodical inspections were made of all 
theatres, places of amusement and public halls, together 
with inspections of new installations and changes in 
electrical work throughout the city. 

Thorough investigations were made of all fires and 
accidents reported as due to electrical causes and 
reports of same are on file in this division. 

During the year there were eighty-seven (87) fires in 
buildings reported as due to electrical causes, seventy- 
three (73) of which were found to be due to such causes 
and fourteen (14) found not due to electricity. There 
were six (6) manhole troubles, three (3) fires on poles, 
eight (8) accidents to persons, ten (10) miscellaneous 
troubles and one (1) fatal accident (auto ran into pole, 
killing driver) reported. 



26 City Document No. 12. 

Permits. 

The income received from permits to perform electri- 
cal work was $46,677.94. 

Underground Cables. 

The underground district for the year 1937, as pre- 
scribed under authority of chapter 101 of the Acts of 
1931, comprised the following streets: 

East Boston. — Putnam street, from Condor street to Ben- 
nington street; Havre street, from Sumner street to Bennington 
street. 

South Boston. — East Fifth street, from G street to P street. 

Dorchester. — Park street, from Dorchester avenue to Wash- 
ington street. 

Brighton. — Braintree street, from Franklin street to Everett 
street; Everett street, from North Beacon street to Braintree 
street. 

South Boston and Roxbury. — Southampton street, from 
Andrew square to Hampden street. 

Hyde Park. — Hyde Park avenue, from River street to Dana 
avenue. 

making a total distance of four (4) miles as prescribed 
bylaw. 

In these prescribed streets from which poles and over- 
head wires were to be removed there were standing on 
January 1, 1938, one hundred and one (101) poles and 
nine hundred sixty-three thousand, eight hundred and 
forty-three (963,843) linear feet of wire. 

During the past year the inspectors of this division 
have reported one hundred and ninety (190) poles 
decayed at base and ten (10) poles leaning, or a total 
of two hundred (200) poles which were replaced or reset 
by the various companies at the request of this depart- 
ment. 

The ducts used for the underground conduits of the 
drawing-in system are of the following types: 

1. Vitrified clay (laid in concrete). 

2. Fiber (laid in concrete). 

3. Creosote wood. 

4. Iron pipe. 

In side or residential streets special underground con- 
struction for electric light and power purposes (one 
hundred and ten (110) and two hundred and twenty 
(220) volts), of the type known as " Split Fiber Solid 
Main System," has also been installed. 



Fire Department. 



27 



WIRE DIVISION STATISTICS. 



Interior Division. 

Notices of new work received ... . . 14,864 

Number of permits issued to turn on current . 12,662 

Number of incandescent lamps inspected . . 2,251,721 

Number of motors inspected 18,745 

Number of arcs inspected 2,634 

Number of inspections made of installations for 

light, heat and power 39,287 

Number of inspections made of theatres, places of 

amusement and public halls .... 1,563 



Exterior Division. 

Number of poles set in new locations . 
Number of poles replaced, reset or straightened, 
Number of poles removed .... 
Number of poles standing in public streets . 
Number of defects reported .... 
Number of defects corrected .... 

(Other defects in process of correction.) 
Number of notices of overhead construction 
Number of overhead inspections 
Number of overhead reports 
Number of feet of overhead wires removed by 

owners 

Number of underground electrical approvals 
Number of inspections of underground electrical 

construction 

Number of reports of underground electrical 

construction 



14 

1,027 

198 

17,136 

1,381 

1,126 

2,232 

•19,295 

22,716 

424,157 
1,759 

2,294 

6,645 



28 



City Document No. 12. 



Table Showing Underground Work for the Year 1937. 



Company. 


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Boston Consolidated Gas Com- 
pany. 

Boston Elevated Railway Com- 
pany. 


639 

6,103 

79,649 
903 

2,331 

6,941 


1,444 

37,085 

140,932 
903 

2,329 

7,780 


20,316 

2,569 

506,152 
7,890 

19,142 

24,052 

2,330 


2 

15 

112 

2 

12 


12 
1,252 


Boston Fire Department (Fire 
Alarm Division). 

Boston Police Department (Police 
Signal Service). 

New England Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company. 


10 

12 
80 


pany. 








Totals 


96,566 


190,473 


582,451 


143 


1,366 







Note. — 3,508 feet of " solid main, " installed by the Boston Edison Company, is included 
in the above figures. 



Fiee Department. 29 



INDEX. 



Page 

Arson Squad 6, 21 

Building Statistics 8 

Chauffeur School 7 

Drill School 5 

Finances: 

Comparative Summary 3 

Expenditures 8 

Revenue 8 

Fires : 

Buildings 8 

Origin 9 

Extent 9 

Causes: 

Buildings 9 

Outdoor 10 

Fire Alarm 5, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19 

Fire College 5 

Fire Loss: 

Summary 3 

Classified . 12, 13 

Largest losses . 14 

Comparative 15 

Fire Prevention 6, 20 

High Pressure 4 

Hydrants 24 

Maintenance Division: 

Motor Equipment 22 

Hose Record 22, 23 

Mutual Aid 5 

Personnel 4 

Pump School 7 

Wire Division: 

Personnel 25 

Income — permits 26 

Expenditures 8 

Underground work 26, 28 

Interior inspections 27 

Exterior inspections 27 



CITY OP BOSTON PRINTING DEPARTMENT