mobile (nowadays self-propelled) piece of equipment used in fire fighting. Early fire engines were hand pumps equipped with reservoirs and were moved to the scene of a fire by human or animal power. In large fires, the reservoir was kept filled by a bucket brigade, but the method was inefficient, and the short range of the stream of water necessitated positioning the apparatus dangerously close to the fire. The introduction of more powerful pumps and flexible hose solved this problem, and a great advance was made with the introduction of the steam-powered pump in many large cities in the 19th century. Steam fire engines were used in the Chicago Fire of 1871. A steam engine remained in use by the New York Fire Department as late as 1932
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