When the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington were annexed to Los Angeles August 28, 1909, the City inherited a minimum of land-based fire protection and 8 miles of water front fire hazards with no fire boat protection. The City immediately contracted for the services of two privately owned fire fighting tugs, the "Warrior" and the "Falcon," from the Wilmington Transportation Company on a monthly rental basis. No firemen were assigned regularly to these two vessels, but fire fighters from land-based stations went to work aboard them at the scenes of fires. This contract arrangement was used until the "Falcon's" services were discontinued in 1915, and the "Warrior's" services dropped in 1917.
Los Angeles leased these steam and sail equipped tugs, the Warrior and the Falcon, shortly after the city annexed San Pedro and Wilmington August 28, 1909, and the fire department assumed waterfront protection responsibilities.
TROUBLES PILE UP RAPIDLY
AT SAN PEDRO FIRE
Troubles piled up rapidly for firemen at San Pedro yesterday afternoon, when fire was discovered by a watchman in the shaving bin of the mill of the San Pedro Lumber Company. For a time the entire plant was threatened. Here is what happened:
A low bridge compelled the harbor fire company to make a long detour to reach the scene.
Then the water pressure was so poor that the stream scarcely reached the blaze.
The fire tug Warrior arrived, stretched a line of hose across the railroad and just got the water flowing when a switch engine came along and cut the hose.
Then the Southern Pacific tank car equipment got to work, but in a few minutes the tank was drained.
A hose was stretched to the Kerchkoff-Cuzner mill on Smith Island, but something went wrong with the pump on the fire engine.
Finally the water pressure, fire tug, S.P. tank equipment and fire engine all "came back" and the fire was soon subdued. It caused damage estimated at $2500 to the brick and corrugated iron building, to which it was confined.
Newspaper Article, May 1, 1916
The Fire Tugs
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