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This is the annual report of Port Arthur’s Fire Department for 1943. It includes a report on the members of the Department who had been sick, as well as recommendations made by Chief Chastey, including fire hydrant inspections and the construction of a new fire station. It was the Fire Chief's responsibility to write the Fire Department's annual reports at the end of each year. 

PAFD Annual Report

"Report of the Chief of the Fire Department

City of Port Arthur


His Worship Mayor C.W. Cox and Aldermen, City of Port Arthur.

Alderman F.G. Lovelady, Chairman of the Fire Department.


The following is a report of the activities of the Port Arthur Fire Department for the year 1943:

The Fire Department answered 469 alarms during the year, this being 79 more alarms than in 1942.

The total fire loss for the year covered by insurance amounted to $35,394.38, this being $9,179.00 more than 1942.

There was a fire loss of about $3,504.00 over insurance, or where there was no insurance carried, this amount was not included in the total loss.

The amount of insurance carried on buildings, contents, etc., where we were called during the year amounted to over $653,000.00.

The largest fire loss for the year was the Fallis, Foote Hardware and the Wilkins Block, both buildings situated on Cumberland Street.

Attached, you will find statement [sic] showing equipment used to fight fires in 1943.

There were no deaths by fire in Port Arthur in 1943 but two persons were burned by gasoline, but were not seriously injured.

There were no serious accidents in the Department during the year but there was a good deal of sickness and one death, [redacted], who passed away on November 23rd after being in Hospital a few days. His health had not been good for some time and he had been doing light duty at the station.

[Redacted] was laid up sick some time last summer. The Doctor reports he is now doing very well and he is able to carry on his duties as Electrician and doing station duty.

[Redacted] lost the sight of one eye on December 5th last and he is not able to go out on Fire Trucks at present, but is doing Station Duty on advice of Doctor.

[Redacted] fell off a ladder at his home, November last, and he is on light duty.

[Redacted] had an attack of Influenza last October which left him with chest trouble. The Doctor thought that it would be better for him to be away from the Station for awhile so the 1943 Council gave him leave of absence until the first of May, 1944.

The Department had seven men in the Armed Forces. One was killed Overseas and one was discharged from the army. This man is back in the Department which leaves the Department with five men in the Armed Forces.

PAFD Annual Report pg 2

[Page 2]

The Department carried out many inspections of buildings during the year, checked and recharged fire extinguishers, tested fire hose and made repairs where needed. Where we found conditions not so good in any buildings, we advised them to clean up. The Merchants and Owners of Blocks cooperated with the fire Department, so much so, that your Fire Department was awarded a merit award by the National Fire Protection Association for educational activities promoted during Fire Prevention Week, October 3rd to the 10th. This was the first time this department competed with Cities with a population of over 25,000.

There were many improvements made during the year for better fire protection in buildings where Bingo Games are carried on, also in Dance and Amusement halls where doors were opening inward, were changed to open outward. Fire Escapes were erected.

Three Fire Alarm Boxes were installed in the outlying districts of the City, one in Current River. This box was installed at the request of the Wartime Housing to give fire protection to the Government-built Houses in that district. Another box was installed on Shuniah Road and Alberta Street near Shuniah School and the third box on the corner of Pine and Red River Road near Pine Street School and the Home for the Aged.

General Remarks and Recommendations

The Canadian Fire Underwriters Report of 1941. I recommend that serious consideration be given to Sections (22) and (25) regarding the water pressure in the high level section.

Hydrant tests shown Windemere Avenue and Tupper Street normal (28) lbs., running (13) lbs. Red River Road and Kenogami Avenue—Normal 28 lbs., running 20 lbs., and this is with the booster pump running.

Section 28 of the Underwriters Report 1941 notes that the City is much too large to be served by one station and our population has increased considerably since that time. As already stated, our population is over 25,000.

I strongly recommend that plans be made to open another Fire Station, to repair No. 2 Station or build a fire hall at Current River.

One more item I would like to draw to your attention, for Public Safety. Many large Homes in Port Arthur have been changed into rooming houses or apartments, many using the attics as living quarters where the only exit in case of fire, is by a narrow stairway. I strongly recommend that outside stairways be built. Also, when homes are built, two doorways should be provided- a front and a back door- for fire protection.

PAFD Annual Report pg 3

[Page 3]

Following is a statement of equipment used at fires in 1943, number of alarms, hose used, ladders, chemicals, gas masks, tarpaulins, etc.:

Fire Telephone- 395

Box Alarms- 37

Box and Telephone- 2

Still Alarms- 34

Areo Alarm- 1

Total- 469

The following equipment was used to fight fire during the year:

5 gal. hand pumps- 372 times

2 ½ gal. hand pumps- 8 times

Pails of water- 33 times

Pyrene- 10 times

Fomite- 6 times

16.550 feet, 2 ½” hose; 2,900 feet, 1 ½” hose; 49 branches or lines were laid and used; 4,848 feet of ladders; 43 gallons chemicals. The Booster Pump was used 47 time, using 7,400 feet ¾ inch hose. Tarpaulins, gas masks and other equipment were used many times.

The Inhaler was used once during the year at a drowning at Boulevard Lake.

In conclusion, I wish to thank all who have in any way helped to further the interests of fire prevention and fire protection, particularly Alderman C.F. Adderley, who was the Chairman of Fire, The Junior Board of Trade, The Principals and Teachers of Public and Separate Schools, especially that Principal at Talbot Street School for the essays sent in to Ald. Adderley, also the Art Teacher at the Technical School, the Press, C K P R, the Theatres and all who helped in Fire Prevention.

I appreciate very much the assistance of the Police, and all Departments of the City Staffs during the year and wish to pay tribute to the Officers and Men of the Fire Department for their cooperation and loyal support.

All of which is respectfully submitted by

George Chastey

Fire Chief"

City of Thunder Bay Archives Series Number: 273
TBA: 7185-02