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The stores and offices of Messrs Johnstone and Co., merohants, corner of Featherston and Panama streets, Wellington, had a narrow escape from destruction by fire yesterday morning. A portion of the first floor and upper storey of the building are occupied by Messrs Bell, Gully, and Izard, solicitors, and about seven o'clock yesterday morning smoke was seen issuing from the window of the common law clerk's room. An alarm was given, and the fire brigade were quickly on the spot. The fire had a good hold in the room mentioned, and quickly spread up the studs, and made its way through the roof. Here, however, its progress was stopped, but considerable damago was done to two rooms, and the flooring and ceiling were considerably charred. A tremendous body of water was poured into the building, and the papers not destroyed by fire were saturated. The water found its way down to the basement, and a large quantity of Messrs Johnstone and Co,'s stock was injured. Messrs Bell, Gully, and Izard have lost a large number of valuable papers and law reports, besides the books damaged. Nothing is known of how the fire originated. The law books, furniture, and effects in Bell, Gully, and Izard's were covorod by a policy of insurance for L7OO in the Colonial Office. Messrs Johnstone and Co. are insured as follows :—Stock, L 3.500; building, L 4.000. The offices interested are:—Stock: Colonial, L 1.500; South British, L 500; Phoenix, L 750; North German, L 250; Sun, LSOO. Building: South British, L 250 ; London and Lancaster, L 500; London and Liverpool and Globe, L 1.000; North British, L 500; Imperial, LI.OOO ; National, L 750. A large boarding house situated at Pipitca Point, Wellington, occupied by Mrs Manson, was burnt down Bhortly after five o'clock last evening. The building wa3 insured for L 350, and Mrs Manson's furniture for L2OO in the Pbrenix Office. It was an old building, and became a mass of flames instantly. Nothing was saved, and ono man nearly lost his life by going back to his room. There were five families in the house, and their loss is considerable.

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Bibliographic details

FIRES., Evening Star, Issue 7923, 3 June 1889

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FIRES. Evening Star, Issue 7923, 3 June 1889