To the Honorable, The Mayor, The City Council and the Board of
In compliance with the requirements of the City Charter, I have the honor to herewith present the Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
In this report will be found a record of the Department, showing the number of alarms responded to and the losses resulting therefrom, and also the number and kind of improvements made during the year 1914-15, together with recommendations for improvements that are at the present time necessary to give proper fire protection to the residents and property owners of this city.
During the year the Fire Department has responded to 2723 alarms, 2415 of which were actual fires, being 123 more than last year, with a property loss of $773,035.00, which is $494,820.00 less than last year.
During the year the Fire Department at San Pedro responded to 115 alarms, 110 of which were actual fires, with a property loss of $122,525.00.
Within the past year the following improvements have been made: viz: A one-story frame bungalow Engine House was constructed at Wilmington to house a motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagon.
Construction of the following bungalow engine houses has been completed and placed in commission:
Engine Co. No. 32, located at 2930 W. 1st St., equipped with a Seagrave motor driven combination chemical and hose wagon, with the necessary equipment of 2 1/2-inch hose, accessories, and a full crew of men.
Engine Co. No. 33, located at 244 W. Florence Ave., equipped with a Seagrave motor driven combination chemical and hose wagon with the necessary equipment of 2 1/2-inch hose, accessories and a full crew of men.
Engine Co. No. 34, located at 3834 S. Western Ave., equipped with an American LaFrance motor driven combination pumping engine and hose wagon, with the necessary equipment of 2 1/2-inch hose, accessories and a full crew of men.
Engine Co. No. 35, located at 1314 N. Vermont Ave., equipped with a Seagrave motor driven combination chemical and hose wagon, with the necessary equipment of 2 1/2-inch hose, accessories and a full crew of men.
During the year the following motor driven apparatus has been purchased:
Two front-drive Christie Tractors for engines.
One Moreland chassis.
Three Moreland combination chemical and hose wagons.
One Hupmobile five-passenger auto for Assistant Chief.
106 additional fire hydrants were purchased and installed in the districts supplied by private water companies.
14,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch, cotton-jacketed, rubber-lined fire hose and 1000 feet of one-inch chemical hose was purchased, also various minor equipment.
750 tons of oat hay were purchased.
Systematic inspections have been made by the officers of the Department of all theatres, moving picture houses, basements, public buildings, department stores, hotels and apartment houses in order to enforce the fire ordinances, in order to aid in the prevention and spread of fire.
With the rapid growth of the City there is a corresponding increase in the number of fires and in order to give the fire protection that this calls for, I would recommend that a modern fire boat with a capacity of not less than 9000 gallons per minute be purchased, without delay, in order to give adequate fire protection to shipping, including the eight miles of wharfage and millions of dollars worth of property in such wharves, at Los Angeles Harbor, as the present method of fighting fires at the Harbor is entirely inadequate to cope with any serious fire, especially with the high winds that prevail there. I would, also, recommend that this boat be constructed of steel, that the engines be of the oilburning, internal combustion type, using the same power that propels the boat to also drive the pumps, thereby giving a lighter draught to boat and greater economy in operation and maintenance.
That a lot be purchased at Gardena to provide a site for a future engine house.
That thirty feet additional to the south side of Engine Co. No. 3 at 217 So. Hill St. be purchased.
That a lot be purchased at Toledo and York Blvd., and a one story bungalow engine house be built on same, with a motor driven combination chemical and hose wagon installed therein, with the necessary crew and equipment.
That a lot be purchased at Rose Hill and a one-story bungalow engine house be built on same, with a motor driven combination chemical and hose wagon installed therein, with the necessary crew and equipment.
That a lot be purchased at Cypress and Pepper and a one-story bungalow engine house be built on same, with a motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagon be installed therein, with the necessary crew and equipment.
That a one-story bungalow engine house be built on a lot owned by the City at 45th and Compton and a motor-driven combination pumping engine and hose wagon be installed therein, with the necessary crew and equipment.
That a one-story bungalow engine house be built on a lot owned by the City at 10th and Gaffey Sts., San Pedro and a motor-driven combination pumping engine and hose wagon be installed therein, with the necessary crew and equipment.
That a two-story double brick engine house be built on a lot owned by the City on Pasadena Ave., between Ave. 25 and Ave. 26, and that Engine Co. No. 1 at Pasadena Ave. and Ave. 19 be moved to this new house.
That the present quarters of Hose Co. No. 1 at 113 S. Griffin Ave. be remodeled and a motor-driven combination pumping engine and hose wagon be installed therein with the necessary crew, to take the place of the present hose wagon installed there.
That the present quarters of Hose Com No. 2 at 1527 Winfield St. be remodeled and a motor-driven combination pumping engine and hose wagon be installed therein with the necessary crew, to take the place of the present hose wagon installed there.
I also recommend that the following motor-driven apparatus be purchased in order to motorize several of the horse-drawn pieces of apparatus in the outlying districts, and also to give the Department the much-needed relief apparatus to keep the Department up to the right standard of efficiency:
Eight motor-driven combination pumping engines and hose wagons for Cypress and Pepper, 45th and Compton, Wilmington, 10th and Gaffey Sts., San Pedro, Engine Co. No. 32, and to reconvert Hose Co.'s 1, 2, 5.
Four motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagons.
Three motor-driven city service trucks for Engine Houses 22, 29, 30.
Seven automobiles for use of Battalion Chiefs and Mechanical Engineer, old cars to be turned in.
One ton truck for fuel wagon, searchlight and supplies.
Two motor-driven tractors to motorize Trucks 1 and 2.
Six motor-driven tractors to motorize steamers at Engine Co's 13, 15, 16, 21, 24 and 30.
Five motor-driven chassis for reconverted hose wagons at Engine Cos. 4, 13, 16, 24, and Hose Co. No. 4.
I would also recommend that where necessary, in order to provide adequate fire protection, that the private water corporations be required to enlarge their mains, so as to allow of more fire hydrants being placed in the territory served by them, as at the present time there is a large area of the city in which fire hydrants cannot be placed on account of the small size of the mains.
As the growth of the City is phenomenal, and the present area covers over 288 square miles, it is becoming quite a problem for the Fire Department to cover this large amount of territory without additional apparatus, all of which should be motor-driven, not only on account of the amount of territory over which buildings are widely scattered, but from an economical standpoint as well, and as a matter of efficiency in the Fire Department, and I strongly urge that all horse-drawn apparatus be motorized as rapidly as possible.
I again urgently recommend that the installation of a modern fire alarm be commenced without delay, and installed in the Central Station at Engine No. 28, 646 So. Figueroa St. The need of a modern fire alarm system is becoming more apparent every day, and the Fire Department cannot be expected to promptly respond to fires without there is a proper and efficient fire alarm system provided whereby they can receive the alarm with speed and certainty. The public should not be required to depend upon telephone service to transmit an alarm of fire to the Fire Department. An ample number of street boxes should be provided, and at least 900 additional fire alarm boxes should be installed throughout the City to give the required protection to the public.
I also recommend that a street fire alarm box be placed at every school house in the City and that an auxiliary box, connected with said street box, be installed in the office of the Superintendent of each school; also, that a street box be placed in front of every theatre, to further protect the patrons of such places of amusement.
That semi-white and red lamps be placed at locations of fire alarm boxes to show the location of these boxes to the public at night.
That a semaphore fire alarm system with vibrating gong be placed at each corner of the congested district on Main, Spring, Broadway and Hill Streets, to notify the public and the crossing officers of the approach of fire apparatus, said system to be connected and operated from the Central Fire Alarm Office.
The City should own the conduits and wires of the Fire Alarm System, thereby discontinuing the use of leased wires, as at present, which is entirely unsatisfactory.
The system should be so devised as to allow of the growth of the City in the future and for at least 20 years to come.
At least 40 per cent, or more of the City is without fire alarm boxes and the residents in this territory have to depend entirely upon the telephone systems for turning in alarms, which in itself is unreliable at times and many times entails serious delay in the receiving of an alarm and corresponding loss in property.
More fire alarm boxes should be installed at San Pedro, East San Pedro and Terminal Island, as the Central Office equipment there is of sufficient capacity to allow of the installation of such fire alarm boxes.
A fire alarm system should also be installed at Wilmington, which locality covers a large area, which is rapidly building up with municipal and other improvements and entirely without a fire alarm system of any kind.
Also, provision should be made for a fire alarm system at Gardena, which locality is also building up.
In conclusion, I desire to extend my thanks to his Honor, the Mayor, the Honorable Members of the City Council and the Board of Fire Commissioners, for their interest in matters pertaining to the Fire Department.
Also, to the Prosecuting Attorney for the invaluable assistance rendered this Department in the enforcement of the Fire Ordinances.
I also wish to thank the officers and members of the Fire Department for their faithfulness, willingness and strict attention shown in the performance of their duties and to extend thanks to the Chief of Police and the members of the Police Department for assistance rendered at fires.
ARCHIE J. ELEY
Copyright 1999 All Rights Reserved.