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Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914
Nor an inconsiderable number of the residents in the Borough of Fighting tho St. KUda have been seriFire Fiend, ously perturbed as to whether the municipality is provided with efficient means of com hating the Fire Fiend; and to set these doubts at rest the authorities arranged tn© other evening that a surprise call should be made on the local brigade. The intention was quit© praise worthy, but its execution was a little faulty, inasmuch as tho idea is prevalent that someone " gave tho chow away.” Bo that as it may ; the brigade did respond with alacrity, and the southwestern boundary of tho municipality was reached in six minutes from the municipal buildings. That is good work, and compares favorably with what happened on a recent Sunday morning, when on the occasion of an outbreak of fire in Richardson street tho City Brigade reached tho scene and had tho flames under control some time before the local firemen put in an appearance. Of course, an explanation of how this happened has been given, and it seems that someone who saw tho fir© in its incipient stage rushed off lo tho nearest telephone and requisitioned tho services of the City firemen. Similar blunders are likely to happen in like circumstances, and the St. Kilda Council must take steps to counteract them. Some of the councillors appear to think that the stationing at night of one of tho brigade on the municipal premises, where suitable sleeping accommodation can bo obtained, will minimise the danger. If that be practicable, why is it not done? It canmot be a question of cost, for we are informed that £25 per annum will cover it, and it is understood that the firemen themselves favor the suggestion. True, tho Borough Council have authorised an installation of electric fire alarms throughout the borough but the delays are not of the council’s making, and the resident property owners must bo patient a while longer. Everything will come right in time, but until the borough’s fire appliances are perfected would it not be a wise precautionary measure—one certainly that would be likely to find favor with property owners in remote localities—to fax a few lengths of hose at convenient points, and make reputable householders responsible for their maintenance? Heaven only helps those who help themselves. This question of fire prevention is a more serious one than many people are disposed, to ac- ■ knowledge, and it becomes more serious as the vacant lota are being filled up with wooden buildings in closer proximity to each other than we ever thought that the ■ authorities of a professedly “model” bor- . ough would tolerate. It must surely be dawning upon the people that, despite the enthusiasm recently shown by the advocates of civic improvement schemes, the day of town-planning, so far as Dunedin at ereota i* concerned, is a long way'off.
Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914
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