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THE RICHMOND FIRE

ORIGIN NOT KNOWN.

The fire at Richmond Park early on Monday morning, as reported in "The Ad- vertiser" yesterday, almost completely de- stroyed Mr. J. II. Aldridge'^ line residence, which was one of the landmarks of the dis- trict. The dwelling consisted of 11 rooms. 10 of wliich were totally destroyed. A piano, a couple of bedsteads, and a few chairs were the only articles saved.

Mr. Aldridge s>ays that all the inmates retired at 11.30 p.m. on Sunday and every- thing was then apparently right, but at 1 a.m. on Monday he was called by his daughter, Miss Margaret Aldridge, who told him that the kitchen and sitting-room were on fire. When he rushed out he found those two rooms burnt down, and, in con- sequence of the strong wind, the fire spread with great rapidity to the main portion of the building. Owing to the great heat the electric bells started ringing. He imme- diately telephoned the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and called the inmates of the house. The brigade managed to save one

room.

Miss Margaret Aldridge says she re- tired at 11.30 p.m. At 1 a.m. on Monday she was awakened by the heavy wind and rain and a crackling noise. She got up and after looking through the window called her father. There was a fire burning in an open fireplace in the sitting-room before the lamily retired on Sunday night.

Constable Barrien says that at 2 a.m. on Monday he was called by Constable Ryan, of Thebarton, who informed him that a fire had broken out at Richmond. He proceeded to Richmond Park and found the residence cf Mr. Aldridge burnt down. Ten rooms of the dwelling had been completely de- stroyed. , He made a careful search, but could not trace the origin of the fire, al- though he was strongly of the opinion that owing to the strong wind blowing a spark escaped from an open fireplace on to some mats which were on the floor and caused the outbreak.

The Coroner has been informed of the oc-

currence.

The main dwelling-house Was insured in the Norwich Union Company for £1,600 and the contents in the National Fire and Ma- rine Insurance Company of New Zealand for £1,200. It is understood that Messrs. Davies & Rutt, the architects of the build- ing, have completq plans of the residence, so the reinstatement should not be a matter of much difficulty.

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