August 2, 1902
TWO MEMBERS OF DEPARTMENT SEVERELY INJURED
Dark to See the Road, Driver Turns Team Over Low Embankment and
Causes Serious Wreck---Wonderful Escape from Death.
the members of the fire department take their lives in their hands
every time they respond to an alarm was exemplified last night by an
accident which demolished a combination chemical engine and hose
wagon, injured two members of the company, and necessitate the
substitution of another company, miles away, until the injured men
can recover and their wagon can be repaired. The accident happened
to home company No. 1, of East Los Angeles, while it was responding
to a telephone alarm for a brush fire in the vicinity of Eastlake
The company was one of two to receive the alarm, and went out of
its quarters on a fast run. The fire looked big. While going along
Alhambra avenue, the driver directed his team along what appeared to
be the beaten road, but soon found that there are two roads, one
several feet above the other. William Banning is driver of the
company, and not knowing that there was an embankment between the
roads, he pulled his team into the other road, and instantly the
hose wagon plunged over the embankment and was overturned.
Banning might have saved himself had he let his team go, but
knowing that the lives of the other members of the company were in
his hands, he clung to the reins, and was thrown clear of the
wagon. He struck on his shoulder, and face in the soft dirt, and
his shoulder was dislocated. His face was terribly lacerated, and
he sustained internal injuries which may prove serious.
On the seat with Banning was Hoseman S. A. Alvarez, and he, too,
was thrown into the street, striking within a few feet of Banning.
He was rendered unconscious by the fall, but soon recovered. His
injuries are not necessarily dangerous, but it was necessary for him
to be conveyed to his home and a physician called.
Lieut. Levis, who is in command of the company, was riding on the
body of the wagon, and was also thrown. He struck on his feet and
was not injured. The horses dragged the wrecked hose wagon a few
rods and stopped, the weight of Banning on the reins making it
impossible for them to travel far.
As soon as possible, the injured men were conveyed to their homes,
and Dr. Yost attended Banning. The physician stated that his
condition is serious, but he will probably recover.
The Chief went hastily to the scene. He ordered the No. 2 hose
company from Winfield street to take the place of the No. 1 company,
until the damaged wagon can be repaired.