Evening Post. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1886. FIRE BRIGADE MISMANAGEMENT.
Thb inefficiency displayed by the Municipal Fire Brigade at the fire in Dmmmond Lane on Friday night, coupled with tha recent exhibition of incompetenoy at the Lambtonquay conflagration, should bring the City Council to a aenße of tho danger this city runs of almost entire demolition under the present oondition of affairs. When the Wainuiomata Waterworks were completed at an enormous, but cheerfully sanctioned, cost to the ratepayers, the Corporation and the rosidents generally hugged themsolves with the idea that henceforth the oity was safe from the ravages of fire. And thore was reason for this self-congratu-lation, for a more effootive water supply does nut exist iv any of tho Australasian towns, although some parties appear not altogether satibfied as to the stability of the dam. There is, however, a proverb whioh warns ub that it is dangerous to bo safe, and the truth of this was painfully roalised when, on lho 20th of December last, & flro broke out on Lambton - quay, destroying some i 516,000 worth of property and jeopardising one-half o£ the oity. Safe in the knowledge that the water supply was as perfect aa hnman ingenuity could make it, little attention w»s paid to that necesaary adjunct for firo extinguishing purposes — the Fire Brigade; and when the time came to bring all the powers of the water supply iuto requisition, we found the appliances for using that force miserably defective, and tho management inefficient. Tho Fire Brigade gear, if ample in quantity waß deficient in quality, and disorder waß everywhere manifest in the arrangement of that whioh was available. Tho hoBO when run out was twisted like so many corksorews, the wrong branches were attached, and the supply of water was taken from the smallor instead of the larger mains. One would have thought that the lamentable experionoes of that eventful morning would have resulted in the immediate improvement of the defects bo obvious to the most casual observer ; but such does not appear to be the case. They were more conspicuously apparent than ever at the fire whioh broke out in the small tenement in Drummond's-lane on Friday night. That fire should hitve been extinguished within ten minutes of the alarm being given, bat it was not Bubdued till at least threequarters of an hour had elapeed. The .brigade's men from the contre of the oity evidontly thought a fire at Thorndon too insignificant to trouble themselves about, and the fire was almost extinguished before Borne half dozen of thorn put in an appearance The hoße first on the spot was tao short, and oould not be lengthened, because the water-plug became choked; then the additional longth of hose subsequently attaohed burst at a oritioal moment and the water, instead of playing on the flames, played on the lane, damaging the (roods removed from the houses almost aa muoh as the fire would have done. For a long time there was no one in command, and all was confusion worae confounded. The marvel is that all the adjoining cottages were not demolished. It is satisfactory to know that a member of the City Council was present from first to last and saw the exaot oondition of affairs, so that we may expect he will bring the matter foroibly before the Connoil at its next meeting, and that such steps will then be initiated as will result in a oomplete reform in the management of tho Fire Brigade in this oity.
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