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Shortly after half-past eight last evening the wife of Detective Henderson, on turning the Arcade corner and entering High street, observed a tiny wreath of smoke proceeding from the upper storey of the brick building owned by Mr G. Turnbull, nearly opposite the end of Manse street. She at onco informed Constable Ramsay, who forced an entrance, but owing to the smoke was unable to reach the exact spot wheie the fire was. There being but a weak pressure of water, the Firo Brigade were unable to make much impression on the fire for some time; but they managed to restrict the flames to the one building, and by eleven o’clock the embers had ceased to smoulder. The building was by this time a perfect wreck inside. At an earlier stage some of the firemen had forced their way to the lower offices and rescued some of the papers ; and the safe belonging to the upstairs floor, though it crashed through to the basement in its fall, was uninjured, so that most of the valuable documents arc preserved. Messrs Rose, Wilson, aud Co., whose offices were on the street level, lost only their office furniture and samples, which were insured for LIOO in tho New Zealand office. This firm’s stock is in store and bond detached from the destroyed premises; and, as stated above, some ot their books and papers were got out of the building, while all their more valuable account books were secure in the strong room. Mr J. Harrison Jones, commission agent, who had one of the offices on the lower floor, suffered a total loss of his general stock and samples, valued at between Ll5O and L2OO. Mr Jones was insured for LIOO in the South British. Mr W. G. Lawless, who carried on a soft-goods business on the lower floor, finds that his stock is also burnt or damaged beyond hope of redemption, but his immediate loss is pretty nearly covered by an insurance of L2OO in the South British, The upper storey was occupied exclusively by Messrs W. and G. Turnbull, whote stock was insured by a floating policy with the National Office, half of the risk being reinsured with the Norwich Union. The building, which was the property of Mr G. Turnbull, was insured in tho National foi L 1,250, one-third of the amount being reinsured with the Norwich Union. The cause of the fire is not known for certain, but it is suggested that it might be traceable to a defect in the chimney, Mr Lawless left the premises about 4.30, Mr Turnbull a few minutes later, while Mr Jones, Mr Rose, and Mr Turnbull’s clerk were away by five o’clock. The last person in the building was Mr Herbert Wilson, clerk to Messrs Rose, Wilson, and Co., who left his office at six o’clock. There was then no sign of fire. Mr Wilson had not been upstairs, that portion of the building being locked off. There is no doubt that the tire originated upstairs, but in what way no one can say for certain. Mr Turnbull says that the firo in Ids room was black out before lie left, and Ids clerk (Mr Bolton) makes a similar statement in regard to the fire in the adjoining room. Messrs Rose, Wilson, and Co. have made arrangements for at once entering into occupation of their new premises in Crawford street, next the New Zealand Insurance < 'oinpany’s Office.

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Bibliographic details

FIRM IN THE CITY., Evening Star, Issue 7933, 14 June 1889

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FIRM IN THE CITY. Evening Star, Issue 7933, 14 June 1889