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_ i

100 Houses at Black Rock

and Beaumaris Destroyed

, MELBOURNE, Saturday (3 a.m.).-Fourteen persons arc known to bc dead and a number of others believed dead in disastrous bush ifires which arc sweeping many parts of Victoria.

Hundreds of houses, homesteads and buildings have been de stroyed, and thousands of acres of grass and farm land devastated, fires were still burning fiercely this morning at Woodend, Hamilton, Dunkeld, Goroke and Daylesford, and further extensive damage is ¡feared.

At 2 a.m. to-day police headquarters reported that thc position

was very grave in several districts, and thc death roll was ex pected to mount.

One hundred bayside homes were destroyed at Black Rock and Beaumaris, popular holiday resorts 15 miles from Melbourne. Heavy bmoke hung over thc city all day.


Police have received news of dead   ¡from tho following areas: Derrinal! 1(3), Skipton (2). Hamilton (2). Ho] Jvpod (2), Berrybank (2). Woodei .Linton ¡md Mt. Dunneed il each).

With only meagre information to ? hand, polico estimate that 407 ; homes have been destroyed.

Thc totals so far aro; Beaumaris 300; Rokewood, 00; Winchelsea, 5 Skipton, 40; Hamilton, 35; Duukc Ü5; Gisborne, 20: Daylesford, 2 Carrington. 1(3; Woodend, ll; Oa ¡leigh, 0; Pascoe Vale, 5; Wattleglc 3; Penshurst, 4; Goroke, 2.

The report has since neon receiv ed that tho townships of Derrinalum and Dundonald in the same area 1 have been wiped out. So lias the I township of Mt. Bute, ton miles

1 from Lismore.

[ Only six of the persons known 1 to have died have been identified.

I They are: Mrs. T. Moore (58), of ! Berrybank; Colin Dunn (41), of ' Berrybank; Mrs. Sarah Lugge (72), ' of Woodend; Mr. Percy Whito, of ¡ Birregurra; Keith Knoeshaw. of ' Werneth, near Cressy; William : Preston (69), of Mt. Dunneed.

Knoeshaw died in hospital from si Vere bums sustained in fighting tl tfire. Preston collapsed while engage in fire fighting.

Mrs. Moore and Colin Dunn, hi grandson, were burned to death tryin to escape to the safety of a dam ;


Mrs. Lugge. who is believed lo hav l>ccn a visitor to AVoodend, was foun ion tho voad two miles from the towi She is believed to have become fright '©ned and attempted to reach tho cei ire of Woodend. Thc fire, which be jgan yesterday morning and was sti ïaging last night, was being fought b three country brigades and servicemci

'Thc fire, which caused two deaths n Brabville, wiped out farming settle inonts. Twenty farming properties wer reported to have been burned out.

A fire near Skipton was under con tro) Into last night. Several peopl turned fighting this fire havo been ad ïnittod to Skipton Hospital.

Twenty houses in Hamilton and

»umber of others at Dunkeld wore des troyed by an outbreak which was stil 'eut of control Inst night. Full detail were unobtainable, as telephone an« telegraph lines had been destroyed {Three lives were reported lost, but tIii jeannot be confirmed.

At least six houses have bceu des troyed at Beeac, also many farmin; properties. A number of residents ha; teen admitted to Beeac Hospital suf

Sering with shock.

A large number of farming building: were destroyed in tho Goroke district .by a fire which began near Koonali aiid swept on to Mitro on a 12-mili


While men were fighting the fire an loth er arm descended suddenly on Gor toke, but women residents, equippec ionlv with buckets, kept it away froir fcuildiugs. A number of lighters was injured, but none seriously.

A large lire in the Daylesford dis trict burned through Franklinford, Mt .Franklin and Porcupine Ridge dis tricts, causing considerable damage. Hundreds of volunteers and soldiers, at tended bv Red Cross workers, were fighting the tire lute last night, but it ,was still out. of control.


.Beechworth was seriously threatened yesterday afternoon bv ;i fire which skipped a break four miles south-west tof the town and raced for two miles on a 10-mile trout; before being stopped.

Hundreds of Army personnel with trailer pumps and thousands of feet of lioso fought thc flames for three hours before they were able to seal the break. While directing operations ?Mr. A. Lawrence was burned on the feet ¡md legs. He wa* admitted to


During the morning a gusty northerly ¡caused concern, but' the lighters main

tained the upper hand. The fire spread rapidly on a wide front and raced to

wards the town, but it was finally seal ed off. Elsewhere in the district thc situation is under control.

Fanning equipment and 3000 bales of buy were destroyed on a property ai Mornington. Servicemen helped po lice and volunteers to tight it, but it was still raging last night.

A fire which swept Keerena district, near Leongatha, destroyed grass, fenc ing and outbuildings, but fighters had it under control this morning.

Large area of grass at Lara and Little River were burned and damage done to many properties. Over 120U people with fire fighting equipment

fought the fires, but more than 1500 acres of crops were destroyed.

Grassland adjacent to the Melbourne Geelong road caught alight, and the fire reached the outbuilding of the Corio Shire Hotel.' Damage to the hotel is estimated at £1000.

A fire north of Templestowe burned a large area of grass and later jumped the river and threatened some houses.

Ten houses were destroyed and others damaged at Gisborne by a fire which swept down on the township from Woodend.

Miss Bertha Woollcrt (52). of Couan galt P.O., near Gisborne, received severe burns, and late last night- was admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition.


Sweeping through a large area of Black Rock and Beaumaris, the most destructive bayside fire on record destroyed about 100 houses, many of them being valuable homes in Beach Road, facing the sea. Many others were seriously damag ed. Total damage Is expected to exceed £100,000.

Details of the losses will not he known until a complete check is made to-day. Up to u late hour last night tire officers were still trying to collate a list of de stroyed and damaged property.

The fire broke out ut ll a.m. at thc back of the golf links at Cheltenham, and swept rapidly through 6crub and ti-tree.

House after house was destroyed, and hundreds of women and children were forced to seek safety on thc beaches.

Rickett's Point resembled a huge evacu ation camp. There wore many weeping women and children who had not been able to save any of their belongil'?*. Others who had brought household goods with them put them into rowing boats.

Many residents carried their furniture into gardens and lawns only to seo the flames sweep down und destroy it.

The lire was finally checked on the out skirts of Mentone at 5 p.m. when thc blaze had practically burnt itself out. Thousands of fire lighters, including resi dents, soldiers, A.R.P. personnel and every available metropolitan brigade, tried

to stem the advance of the Hames. Water pressure was poor, and dense black smoke hampered the lighters.


All telophone and electric light wires wero down, and last night the area was In darkness. Many homeless resi dents camped all night on the beaches.

In spite of the seriousness of the fire only a few people were hurt, although sev eral received attention for minor burns.

In addition to residences many week end homes belonging to servicemen were destroyed. Three times thc Beaumaris Hotel was endangered, but the fire even tually skirted the hotel and destroyed the dwellings on either side.

Five houses were destroyed and five others damaged in Pascoe street. Pascoe Vale, by a grass fire which started at Somerton, near Campbellfield, and burned 1000 acres. It raced through Glenroy and threatened to envelop Broadmeadows camp. Metropolitan brigades, assisted by hundreds of soldiers and A.K.P. personnel had the fire under control at 5 p.m.

'Che camp was saved, but Glenroy gob links, except the clubhouse, was burned out. ....