THE FIRE AT CARTERTON.
The following is the account given by. the Wairarapa Mercury of the late fire at Carterton, to which allusion has already been made in our columns :—: — We regret to have to record a fire— one of the most disastrous that has ever taken place in the district, "and which has resulted in the destruction of the Taratahi Saw Mills, of five dwelling houses, of 15,000 feet of timber, and of other valuable property. The fire originated in the embers of a fire that had been lit some fortnight ago near the saw mills, and which was supposed to have became extinct. The wind on Monday, however, revived it and it spread with great rapidity. Mr. Anderson, who has been ailing for some time, had barely time to recover his books from the devouring element, and with praiseworthy precaution preserved his rifle <&c. as well. Mr. Hughen, a partner in the firm, saved his wife cud family, but little else. Mr. Beard, who was working at Huinuioraugi at the time, saved his two blankets and I a box of clothing, and that and his eight I children constitute all his worldly pos- | sessions. The house of Mr. M'Gormack was ¦ fair in the track of the devastating flames, and was consumed in a moment. His house and blacksmith's shop w§re in fjanjes before anything was rescued. A house belonging to Mr. G. Smith, situate on Carter's Line, but untenanted, was burnt about noon, being the resijlt of another bush fire ; the houses of Messrs. Anderson and Challisj also caught alight, but the fire was jrat out through the ! strenuous exertions of the inmates ; the house of the former presented a curious appearance on the following day, the roof being covered with wet blankets — a most judicious proceeding when sparks are being blown about in all directiops. The calamity we are recounting is no trifling one. The damage is estimated at over two thousand pounds, and in many instances it will take the sufferers years to recover the loss, A contract for supplying the Government with telegraph poles had only recently been taken by the energetic proprietors of the mills, and of course this accident will compel them to work harder in order to complete their contract in time. They happened fortunately to have been making some slight repairs to the engine, and the boilerjwas full of water, so that portion Gf the machinery is uninjured. A dray also had passed unscathed through the flames, with the exception of the pole, which is slightly burnt. The bridge over the creek was also completely destroyed, and yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon the spectacle was most disastrous ; the fire in the bush was still raging, and each settler regard* ing it with dismay, was asking his neighbour where it was going to stop. To travel over the site where the building stood is anything but pleasant. Mr. M'Cormack's house is known by the chimney, and his shop by a pile of old horse shoes. The engine stands solitary among the ashes of the mill, and here j and there one comes across buliock chains, j bows, camp ovens, fragments of saws, &c. &c. 1 The whole of the consumed property was un- j insured, and we trusjfc that the members of j the community will shew^ their sj'inpathj' with the loss sustained by the men by raising a subscription in their aid. Few whu have not practically experienced the loss can imagine how severe a trial|it is] to commence the world afresh, like Mr Beard for instance, with a pair of half charred blankets and eight small children. We feel sure that some one will take the matter up, and render aid to those who are in such distress.
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