HEADQUARTERS OF THE METROPOLITAN FIRE BRIGADE.
In Southwark Bridge Road are the headquarters of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, marked by a lofty tower, from the summit of which a constant watch is kept. The Brigade, established in 1866, is maintained at an annual cost of £130,000 per annum; and the area which it protects extends over 118 square miles. There are nearly sixty stations, and ten times as many call-points. In the course of a year some 5,000 alarms, of which, however, a large proportion are false, are given, and from thirty to forty million gallons of water are used in extinguishing fires. The Brigade, which is under the control of the London County Council, numbers some 750 officers and men, with Captain Sexton Simonds at their head.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896