Firemen unloading hoses at fire scene.
The conclusion of a fire is shown in this print, one of six in a series titled, “The Life of a Fireman.” A number of different companies are shown battling the slowing blaze. In reality, fire fighting groups often competed to be the first to reach a fire. By 1840, New York City had sixty-four volunteer fire companies and 1600 men willing to be on call. When an alarm rang, volunteers grabbed their uniforms, ran to their firehouses and physically dragged their equipment to the fire. Once on location, the fire fighters attempted to prevent the fire from spreading and to rescue residents of the burning building. Here, Maurer illustrates the fire fighting equipment in detail and has included pumpers, hoses and hydrants. The pumpers, with their short hoses, required firemen to work close to a fire and firemen were often injured in the line of duty.