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Fire at Wellingrton.


Wellington, October 8. The "bmMings formerly occupied as a Government printing office on Thorndon Quay -were completely destroyed by fire at an early hour this morning. The buildings, which were of wood and corrugated iron, presented of late a very delapidated appearance, and since the removal of the printers'to.the new brick premises opposite, were only occupied by lithographers and photographers connected with the printing office. The night watchman, Walsh, asserts that shortly after 2 o'clock, while he was m the eastern portion of the building whicli is used aa a storeroom, he heard «m explosion, and immediately flames burst out m the lithographic department m the western wing. The fire spread with great rapidity, and when the brigade arrived their attention was principally directed to saving the Royal Motel on one side and a building known as Barrett's on the other. The fire was confined to the old printing office, of •which only the outside walls are standing. A large quantity of valuable material was lost m the fire, and as there was no insurance, the loss is a total one. , The buildings destroyed by fire this morning were erected on land held on a jjl years' lease by Government from the ■Hospital trustees, and the lease expires a* 1393. One clause m the lease proVicle« for Government insuring the buildings lt» the full value, or to pay the value <of then m the event of destruction. •Government have therefore to pay the Hospital trustees a sum of £l 650. In the Buildings were stored a quantity of documents and stores belonging to various Government Departments, and it is difficult to get at the full extent of the c^amage, but so far as is known, it is aft follows '— The Government printer states theii* loss, approximately, is, printing paper, *tc" £700; millboards and binding material, ' P 1™1™?? forms and stationery £350*; White's Ancient History, £875; parchment \iorma, £175; damage to fittincrs and i.Wimery, £300 ; statute* and other books',, .£I3OO. Total, £3775, and of printtng on>e stores £39. A quantity of forms iM>t destroyed, and he estimates their valu<? is somewhere about £3000. Mr Oorrutlters, District Bail way Engineer, had hi» office m the building, but most -of the papers, etc., were removed, .'therefore' the loss is only nominal. The treasury loss is of no monetary value, but about 5000 volumes of vouchers which date back to 1850 were burnt. The Customs Department have lost a quantity of forms, books, and instruments necessary for carrying out the work of the department, and the Secretary of the Department states £1000 will barely cover their loss. The lithographic branch of the Survey Depfc is far and away the heaviest loser and Mr Barron says that the lose is almost irreparable. In the building were some 1500 stones, most of which had work on them, and nothing can replace their loss. Two steam printing presses, stone grinding press, gas engine, seven hand letter presses, and other machines were destroyed, to the value of £1200, to which ha« beenaddedthe value of shafts, belting, etc. Strange to say there is scarcely a stone left intact, a great number appearing like so much road material. This department is also a heavy loser m respect to paper, having only recently got a large stock of Photographic apparatus and chemicals, which were also destroyed except the lenses, which are m the strongroom, and as tliat is no yet opened it is difficult to pay whether it has resisted the heat. A new 30-inch camera was among the appatuaidestroyed. The Survey Department had a large amount of work m hand for heir departments, and all this is deHtroyed. The(Telegraph Department had 30 or 40 cases' of stationery, etc., stored m the building, but the, loss is not yet estimated, though most of the material is destroyed. The origin of the fire still re.ttiajns a mystery, but it is genera ly .<tfcoaght the fire must have had a great ihtM when it was discovered by the night watchman. The explosion heard by him is btfftwred to have been from the gas engine, twit that it was m fio way the <»use of the fire. '

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Bibliographic details

Fire at Wellingrton., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2538, 8 October 1890

Word Count

Fire at Wellingrton. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2538, 8 October 1890