BUSH FIRE AT INVERCARGILL.
A sekious bush fire occurred on Thmsday hut afc Invercargdl, winch is thus reported by the Soulldand Times — " Yesterday was prolific in bush fires, but the one which attracted notice wa3 thai which rnged in the North Town Belt TCnrJy in the clay dense volumes of smoke issued from tho thick dead scrub which strews in profusion tho whole place, and the wind, which was at first blowing only moderately strong, gradunlly increased into a gale fiom the north, chiving the smoke right over the town. The inhabitants now became thoroughly alarmed, and the firobcll was tolled, which tended to furl her increase the excitement. Large numbers of people rushed to the scene, but the density of the smoke, coupled with the fury of the gale, left them but little hopes of being of much avail. Numbers of houses were in the direct course of the firo, and great exertions were made to carry the moveables to places of safety, the police, under the personal superintendence of Mr Commissioner Weldon, lending constant and valuable assistance. The Fire Brigade likewise turned out, but the supply of water ran short, so that tho engine was of comparatively little service. At one o'clock the fire appeared to be at its height, and tho impression made by a visit to the sceno was almost terrifying. Ilunclrcds of people wore to bo seen rushing 'frantically through the smoke — some carrying one thing, and some another ; while by far the greater portion stood as silent spectatois of the dismal sceno, doubtless fancying how futile every effort was to stay tho progress of the clcTouimg clement. Ai the afternoon wore on, tho breeze gradually calmed down, at the same time slightly veering from the north to northwest, and by arc o'clock it was thought that little farther' danger need bo apprchondod. Later, howover, a smart breoze pet in from the west, whioh onco moro sot tliOjtall pjno trees in <j, b.laze, but now the emoio was cftntotVin, ft differed tUrccti/n, nnd, although
Ihere were slill-a considerable numbor of houses in (lie direct lino of the firo, the danger to town property nas greatly averted. Many houses had very remarkable escapes, the fire in many instances linving burnt on every side of them whilo they remained untouched nnd snfo. One homo especially had an almost miraculous o«eapo. A spark from a burning pine tree 101 l on Iho roof, which was a 'shingle one. Tho fire wiilc its wny through (lie roof to tho cnlico lining, ami, burning through which, fell on the floor of the 100 m in which tho family wore at tho time. By tho (Vcmpl application of a few buckctfuls of water the (iro was extinguished. Wo have only heard of one sin ill shanty being destroyed by the firo, but if tho galo continues, thero is still a, great probability of wrions damage being done. Many houses are by no means safe, and tho firo siill lingers on tho trees nnd hci'iib from Giila to Xarrow streets. Another largo bush fire \\a3 observed burning in Iho AVaikivi Bush, while yet another, and even lnvgov one, was soon raging furiously in the direction of lliverton."
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