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4 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections

FIRE IN EDWARD-STREET.

We have to record the occurrence of a fire which took place early yesterday morning, in Edward-street, and by which a portion of Re- fuge-row has been razed to the ground. The fire was first discovered by constable Blake, who was on duty in Edward-street, at about a quar- ter past one o'clock in the morning. He was walking in the middle of the road, when his attention was attracted by observing an unusual light in the shop known as the " Little Wonder," which was kept as a place of business for the sale of books and miscellaneous articles, by a person named Marriott, who used to be the proprietor of a book-stall in Queen-street, ad- jacent to the premises of Mr. Fegan, which were destroyed by fire some time since. Immediately on seeing the light, it appears the constable crossed over, and heard a crackling noise, simi- lar to that of the burning of wood. He endea- vored, with the assistance of two persons who were passing by, to break into the place ; but could not succeed in doing so, and immediately gave the alarm. The police were assembled on the spot without delay ; but in the meantime the flames had communicated with the roof, and the adjacent store, a wooden building belonging to Mr. Bulcock, in which was stored a quantity of corn, potatoes, and vegetables. The alarm spread very quickly, and the members of the No. 1 Fire Brigade, distinguished easily by their red shirts, were not long in making their ap- pearance, almost simultaneously with Mr. Cut- bush (captain of the Volunteer Fire Brigade), and between thirty and forty members of his company. From the first it became evident that any attempt to save Bulcock's store was quite useless; the efforts of the firemen-ably seconded by the police, who prevented the crowd from encroaching unduly upon tho scene of opera- tions were concentrated upon saving the   buildings in the immediate vicinity, all of which are built of wood. Accordingly, hooks and other tackling were procured, and attached to

the end of Bulcock's store nearest to Leck's

photographic gallery, on which latter place the contents of a large tank of water were poured. Some short time after the grapplings had been fixed, the united strength of the firemen suc- ceeded in bringing down the building with a crash, and a shout was raised, it being evident that with very little trouble the further pro- gress of the flames could be easily arrested. A number of zealous individuals were actively en- gaged for about three-quarters of an hour in cutting up the flooring of Bulcock's store, some portion of which was saved from the flames. Fears were entertained at one time that the fire would reach the stores behind the place where the conflagration originated, but proper precau- tion was fortunately taken in time to prevent such a disaster, which would certainly have involved a great loss of property.

There is a great deal of credit due to the whole of the parties who assisted in keeping the

fire down, and there was much more steadiness

displayed than we have noticed on previous occasions. There is little doubt but that, for the systematic course of action which was adopted, the whole of Refuge-row must have been rendered to a heap of ruins. The thanks of the owners of property are due, not only to the members of the two fire brigades, but also to the mayor, the police magistrate, the chief commissioner of police, and several aldermen, and others of our leading citizens, all of whom rendered material assistance in directing opera- tions, and keeping the crowd from interfering with the work of those who were actively engaged in doing what was necessary to stop

the fire.

We understand that at the time the fire broke

out in the "Little Wonder" no person was upon   the premises, which, with the stock-in-trade were insured in the Colonial Office for £350. Mr. Bulcock is a great loser, most of the valu- able contents of his store having been destroyed, although a great many bags of corn, his pro- perty, were snatched from the flames. It is to be hoped that no further delay will take place in furnishing an onging and other necessaries for extinguishing fires to our volunteer fire brigade, the members of which, by their united and successful action on Sunday morning, gave an earnest of what may be expected from them, when they have proper appliances ready to their

hands.

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