DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN OAMARU.
[BY TELECiiAMI.] Oamaiiu. Jan. 28. The most destructive fire which has yet taken place in Oainaru, commenced to-day, at half-past 12 o’clock, in Messrs. Bailie and Humphrey Is warehouse. Within a few minutes the flames burst through tlie roof, and it was at once evident that nothing could stay their progress. The buildings forming a portion of the Queen’s Hotel were composed of wood, and efforts were made to remove all the timber in Craig and Co.’s timber yard, lying near the fire, and so prevent the flames spreading in that direction, while scores of willing hands were busily engaged in removing the furniture and stock from the hotel. Bailie and Humphrey’s store, and the small shops on south side. The fire brigade attended quickly, but want of water greatly interfered with their usefulness. With alarming rapidity the flames spread from the store where the fire originated to the back fiortion of the Queen’s Hotel. Within a few minutes the whole of this part of the buildings was enveloped in flames. The roof of the store soon fell in, which was quickly followed by that of the rear part of the hotel. The progress of the fire at Bailie and Humphrey's was checked by a s’one wall, and it was hoped the stone wall of the main part of the hotel would prove equally effective in that direction, but the flames were carried under the roof by the breeze. From the roof of the hotel the flames spread to the north of Bailie and Humphrey’s store, whore a bod} 7 of men was stationed, and by applying water kept the flames from doing much damage. On the south side of the Queen's Hotel two small shops were situated, occupied hy Murray, bootmaker, and M‘Bride, tobacconist. They fell an easy prey. The whole of the interior of the hotel was burned clean out, leaving nothing but walls standing. The flames spread no further, but a vast amount of damage was done. The fire, probably, originated in a bakehouse adjoining the store in which it was first discovered. The amount of insurance on the buildings and stock is LII.BGO, of which, probably, LSOOO will have to be paid by the companies involved.
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