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[from our own correspondent.] Christchurch, To-day.

Quite a gloom has been cast over the j, city by the fire at West Eyreton by which a farmer’s w'fe and his six ypung t children lost their lives yesterday. ? Poor Simpson, the bereaved husband and father, is a most respectable man, -j and the terrible calamity which has j befallen him has excited the compajssion j of all here. But yesterday mcjrning at breakfast: time he was possessed of . a home and all that makes home h'appy. Within an hour or two he was homeless, wifeless, and childless. The unfortunate man occupied a house close to the Eyreton railway station, and left his family after breakfast yesterday morning to go to Swanannoa, where he had some harvesting to do. As Simpson left the house in company with one of his men his wife called out “ Goodby,” remarking that she hoped they were going to have a fine day. Having despatched a little brother stopping at the house to catch the Kaiapoi train for school, Mrs Simpson proceeded, as it is supposed, up.stairs. Her children were not then u|j>, and whether she got into bed again f is not known, but about half-past eight the house was seen to be in flames. The fire spread quickly, and very ihortly after nine o’clock the place vas in ruins. The police arrived o i the spot between twelve and one o’clock, and at once commenced to search for the bodies. They w ere all found. The family comprise! , Mrs Margaret Simpson, 28 years; Matilda do., 7 ; Thomas John do., 5 y 2 : Sarah do., ; Ann Jane do., do., 1 ; Henry do., 3 months The remains were burnt beyond recognition. Nothing is yet know las to the origin of the fire. A frying pan was noticed among the debris, the fat from which (for it was used to prepare the breakfast), it is conjectured, may have fallen on the fife in the grate and thus have caused the catastrophe. ' Another theory is that hot cinders may ' have fallen from the grate on to the l floor after Mrs Simpson had gone up- , stairs, and set the place in a blaze. The grief of the husband and ; father, on hearing the extent of his lobs, was very touching. He had imagined that his family had been rescued, and that , it was merely his home that was desi troyed. When he learned the whole 1 truth he was almost beside himself. ■ Nothing certain is as yet known as to the insurances. The house, furniture, and effects are, it is rumored, i insured in the Liverpool, London, ancj Globe office for Lias. An inquest iwill, of course, be held, of which I will advise 3 you further.

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Bibliographic details

THE FATAL FIRE IN CHRISTCHURCH., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 548, 31 January 1882

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THE FATAL FIRE IN CHRISTCHURCH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 548, 31 January 1882

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