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GLENMARK FIRE.

DAMAGE ESTIMATED AT £25,000 TO £30,000. NO INSURANCE. Oar special correspondent visited Glenmark on Saturday morning, and received the following particulars from Mr G. H. Moore and those present at the fire. It originated at 12.30 p.m. yesterday whilst Mr Moore was In his room, and started in the roof or very near to it, either from the ignition of inflammable matter collected by sparrows in the valley, or through a loose match having fallen in the chamber near the water tanks. In whatever way it happened there is no doubt it arose through misadventure. The first alarm was given by a domestic servant, who called out that a chimney was on fire. Before Mr Moore had time to exactly decide its location the whole of the upper storey was in flames, which were shooting out of the windows. To ring the firebell of the station and attach tne hose to the water supply occupied but a very brief space of time, but although more than a score of men were quickly engaged in the work of saving articles of value, it is estimated that out of a building which cost over £15,000 and a stock of furniture valued at £10,000, only £100 worth was rescued.

The north-west galesent the fire through the grounds in all directions, setting trees ablaze, and going in the direction of the staoles, a fine block, threatening to destroy them. Finding that efforts at saving property in the house were of no avail, attention was turned by the men, vrho worked hard and with good results, to save the plantations and buildings at the homestead. Fortunately they were so far successful, but even on Saturday fires took place in the plantations caused by the embers blown about with ihe wind. The handsome conservatory in front of the house, which cost £1500, is a complete wreck, and only the bare concrete wails and tall chimneys of the main building remain, while the desolation wrought within a perfect paradise of gardens forms a sorry sight indeed. In the drawing room a handsome fountain, costing 300 guineas, is a perfect ruin, and not a vestige remains of a 300 guinea sofa, whilsc a sideboard, the Handsomest which Mr Moore could purchase in Loudon, with its weight of silver plate, choice glassware, &c, is also destroyed. The heat of the flames must have been intense as the lawns and beds of plants are burnt up for several yards away. The hothouse on the east part has partly been demolished by tailing walls, buc the vinery escaped damage. All the fire engines in Canterbury, with the inexhaustible supply from the artificial lakes, Mr Moore considers, could not have stopped the fire. Miss Moore appears to have been exceedingly cool, as in the few minutes allowed to rescue property, she thought of her pet song birds, and, &*• personal risk from the melting lead pouriug off the roof, she brought them out to a place of safety, and, although a heavy loser of valuable jewellery, she may well look with pride on this humane act. One of the four servants was missed for time, bub it appeared her exertions had caused her to retreat to the gardener's cottage. The tanks of water on the centre of the roof came down, causing a great explosion. Mr Moore and his daughter found refuge in the manager's house, and, although feeling his great loss, it is probable that he may reinstate the building. His papers were nearly all saved. As evidence of the sympathy which is felt in the district the very first p&st brought quite a budget of letters expressing regret with the owner of Glenmark on his misfortune, and although he has attained the advanced age of nearly fourscore he was on Saturday attending to his station affairs with that vigor which has characterised his life throughout.

FURTHER PARTICULARS.

. The house had been built about eight years. Some considerable time was spent in its erection, and ie was constructed of such materials as were expected to give resistance to anything like an accidental fire. It stood in a most charming situation, surrounded by the plantations, with artificial lakes close by. Its height was about thirty-five feet, as the rooms on the basement and upper floor were fifteen feet from floor to the ceiling. The rooms already enumerated were very spacious. The walls were concrete, with an outer casing of weather boarding and an inner casing of timber, allowing such currents of air throughout the walls, regulated by the ventilators, that the temperature of the building on the hottest day of this summer has never exceeded 60deg. Whilst this gave advantages, it became a powerful means in the exceedingly quick destruction of the pile. Within ten minutes, said an eye-witness, the top of the house was in a white heat caused by the tremendous draught up the walls, and the fire roared like a heavy surf at sea. The flame shot up 30 or 40tt like a volcano, and the ashes were showered round the place for many chains; Finding efforts to save the buildings unavailing, the energies of all hands were reserved to prevent the fire lightiog the plantations, and here a most terrible battle seemed to have been fought with the fire. At one time the flakes of fire were carried by the strong nor'-west wind on to the beautiful and substantial stable buildings, but these were ultimately saved. The danger of takins? out household property was increased, as Mr John Martin, the manager, pointed out, by the molten lead from the roof and flashings, as well as the expected falling of the walls and collapse of the tanks connected with the water service. These tanks were seen to become red-hot halfway from the top before they were quite empty, and as the under-structure burned away they fell in, causing an explosion which sent fire out in all directions.

Each room had its elaborate fittings, with furniture on an elaborate and costly scale. There were choice pictures, valuable tapestry, costly white marble mantelpieces, lamp ornaments, as well as ornamental ceilings with unique cornices, and centre ornaments of elegant designs, dadoinga, friezes and borders, producing wonderful contrasts, with harmonies of color; flooring laid in parquet patterns, and on the basement encaustic tiles were used to a lance extent. The house had many very fine cabinets, with furniture which it is impossible to particularise. Many of Mr Moore's books and his papers from the office were rescued, after it was found Impossible to get out the heavy furniture. On the western end a hothouse containing tropical plants, orchids, &c, was partly damaged by the heat and by a wall falling, but the viaery which contains quite a prolific crop of grapes escaped injury, being away a from the falling embers. There was no insurance oa the house or * single article contained la it. Mr Moore was very much knocked up by his exertions iv directing the men under a hot sun without his hat for nearly an hour. All hands behaved moss bravely in the efforts to save property, a man. named Moffat was the only person slightly injured by fire.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18910126.2.47

Bibliographic details

GLENMARK FIRE., Press, Volume XLVIII, Issue 7770, 26 January 1891

Word Count
1,199

GLENMARK FIRE. Press, Volume XLVIII, Issue 7770, 26 January 1891

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