FIRM'S BIG LOBS, ,, DISASTER AT THE COLISEUM.
An unprecedented disaster occurred at the Cqlincum. the big drapery establishment of Messrs. Charles Moore & Co., in Rundlo street, on Friday night and the early hours
of Saturday morning, wben the premises were in the rear portion practi- cally soaked right through from fifth floor to basement. Visitations by fire are in all truth bad enough, but an inspec- tion of the place on Saturday morning reveakd the fact that the water fiend is scarcely less destructive wherever it comes in contact with to-tly m-Trh;iudi.*e. The accident occurred in a simple manner, and was enc wliicli might, lupjicn to any firm in similar circumstances, tor two days water in the mains had been turned off, and it U said that #rj* in the workroom on tbe top lloor, forp'Uul of the cotte'cqucntt'S likely to ensue, bud left two U|ni at wa-ulwtnd basins in I be lavatory there turned on. About 10 o'clock on Fri day nipht. after ever}' °nn bad left the establishment, the water w.is turned on to the mains again, and naturally it I'ouivi out unchecked tlirou^li the o|nn tups. All night long the fircjin bubbled away mer rily, but destructively, for the lavatory tvaa «vm flooded, nnd tne How lic^n to per colate into the showrooms l-cncatli, where there woi an abundance of millinery di.-- phyed. Wben that lloor had mopped up all the water it could contain tho drops be gan to exude upon the apartments next in order of their mvamon. There the dam an comprised injury by damn to corseta. Marts, rot*, blouses, and underclothing of all kinds. The office, situated on Hie tirst floor above the street, got a fearful soak ing, and looked as though it had been sub mitted to a totally unnecessary shower bath. Its contents will bear the mnrlui of the. calamity for many a long day. Just outside in the showroom a fine dis play of men's mercer)-, tics, and kindred articles bad been affected. The greatest mischief of all was apparently wrought on the around floor, to an admirable and. to1 the fair sex particularly, tempting array of laces . and the other new season's goods, which had been opened only on the pre vious day for the busy Chivtmas shopping period. They came to hand by the steamers Marmora and Otway. and had been specially cabled for to England and the Continent. Tho first arrivals upon the premiKH at 8 o'clock on Sartmhy mom ing were astounded at the sight which met their gate. The water wax immediate^ turned off at the source of tbe mischief on the top floor, but so saturated were the ceilings which it bad penetrated that they continued to drip for hours. It was a melancholy sight to see the be draggled spread of fancy neckwear, tulles, veilings, handkerchiefs, fashionable trim mings, botton.%. and delicately coloured feminine leather bags and belts. Much of this portion of the stock in onlv partially or slightly damaged, and its real worth » not actually affected to any extent so far as the purrhitwr ut concerned, but the firm ran. expect to receive only it fraction of the price at which the poods were origi nally marked. 'What would otherwim have been told at a handsome profit will now have to he practically given awav,' remarked a salesman on Saturday. The loss on account of the mishap i$ estimated at from £1,3)0 to £1,500. Fire insurance policies do not provide for such crenhnli tiet, and snch a hlon when the Christ man shopping season is almost at the crest of the wave is extremely unfortunate. It would be serion- at any time, but hap pening in the middle -vf Dcwnbrr, it U particularly exasperating and injurious t0 those concerned. The management is doing all it can to reduce the !om as much as possible bv removing damaged ?rood* from their «wkfd boxes am! spread ing them out to dry. A big nalvagc tale will result.