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CONFLAGRATION AT BULLS.

I TOWN HALL, POST OFFICE AND SEVERAL SHOPS BURNED. LOSSES AND INSURANCE HEAVY. {Sf Telegraph.—Press Association MXRTOX, this day. A most disastrous fire occurred at Bulls last night. It broke out in W. B. Clark's store, next to the post office, and had a strong hold before the alarm was given. A strong south-easterly breeze was bilowing, and rain was falling steadily. The llames spread quickly to a blacksmith's shop, owned by Mr. J. E. Walker, and occupied by Mr. H. Green, .Mr. Thos. King's office, the Rangitikei Dairy Company, ail of which were demolished. Efforts to stay the fire were futile, and it spread to F. T. Manseli's ironmongery and crockery store rooms, and also enveloped a dwelling at the back of the premises. The heat was terrific. The post office, a new brick "building, | caught lire under the eaves. Strenuous efI forts were made to say the progress of I the flames here, but they v ere of no I avail, the whole of the interior of the I building being burned, only the walls being left standing. By this time the buildings in the opposite street, owing to the direction of the wind, were in imminent danger. The premises of Messrs. Gorton and Son aud tlie Rangitikei Racing Club's office caught, but the fire was extinguished by a bucket brigade. Efforts were made to save the Town Hall, but it was burnt to the ground. An adjoining shop and dwelling, owned by Mr. Manscll and occupied respectively by Mr. G. Nicholson (bootmaker) and Mr. F. Paul, were burnt . The bucket brigade had their attention now turned to saving the shop owned by /Mr. John Stevenson and occupied by i Mr. Monks (tailor) on the north side of \ the post-office. Fortunately, their I efforts were rewarded, and the building was saved, otherwise other buildings, including the public library and Jones and McGregor's store, must have gone. Mansell and Stone's store, at the south end of the street, also escaped, the store being detached. This allowed room for the public to exercise their energies, and by systematic working the fire was checked. It was fortunate that it was stopped here, for the Rangitikei Hotel, the Bank of New Zealand, and Bank of New South Wales, and buildings adjoining would otherwise have been destroyed. The officiaj, records of the post office, documents and letters were saved. The stock of Clark's store, consisting of a new and large shipment of autumn and winter goods was burnt, and the loss is heavy. Mansell and Son saved their stock from fire, but it was damaged by rain and removal. The estimated loss is £1000. Nicholson's stock and equipmonts were saved. The building was insured for £165 in the Northern Company. Clarke's stock was insured in the Victoria for £500 and the stock in the same office for £1000, and £800 in the South British. The owner is a heavy loser. The blacksmith's shop, owned by Walker, was insured for £125 in the National and King's office for £125 in the same company. The town hall was insured for £400 in the National. Mansell and Sons' bulk storeroom, £465 in the Northern. About S o'clock this morning an outbreak occurred in three different bedrooms of the Rangitikei Hotel. Beds, bedding and mattresses were burnt. The loss is estimated at about £150.

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CONFLAGRATION AT BULLS. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909

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