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Fighting the Flames

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By: (1825-1894)

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Fighting the Flames, by R.M. Ballantyne.

This is one of the books by Ballantyne in which he describes one of the main institutions of British life the Fire Brigade. Of course he wraps a good story into this description, but you come away with a good idea of how the Fire Brigade functioned in those days. Bear in mind that there were no motors the fire engines were drawn by galloping horses. There were no telephones, and the alarm was raised by someone running to the fire station. More than that, there was a system for alerting any adjacent fire stations, so that better cover could be given to the district as a whole. The power for the pumps was from men, and to rescue anyone the fireman had to ascend a ladder, hunt for the person, and carry him or her back down the ladder, all done with unsophisticated gear. Injuries to firemen, or even their death, were frequent.

We are also introduced to the floating fire engine, that could attend a fire by the river side, usually in one of the very vulnerable ware houses... Continue reading book >>

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