FIRE AT PENROSE'S.
A TIMELY SAVE. DAMAGE ABOUT £B,OOO. A matter of 10 minutes more and it would have been "good-bye to Penrose's." This was the opinion expressed by the Fire Brigade Superintendent (Mr A. Napier) and "by Mr Penrose himself this morning concerning the fire of yesterday. When Constable Dunlop, on duty in St. Andrew street, discovered that Penrose's drapery establishment was on fire it was about 10 minutes to 7 in the morning— Sunday morning, when the streets are practically empty—so that his opportune discovery meant a difference ot some thousands of pounds. The call was registered at the Fixe Brigade Station at 7 minutes to 7, and two minutes later the City brigade were on the spot. The dense black smoke which immediately precedes the bursting mass of flame was then pouring through the first floor windows in St. Andrew's street, and there was no time, to bo lost. And no time was lost. There was an excellent water supply —a 9in main in George street and a nn main in St. Andrew's street —and the "get-to-work" was easy; that is to say, the firemen were able, after a rush up the stairs through the heat', to get right to the heart of the fire, and to pour in the water from three lines of hose. In a few minutes they had it tinder control, and an hour or two's hard work saw the premises safe. An inspection this morning showed that the damage by fire had been confined to the seconfl Boor, though the ground Rapt had, as might be expected, suffered considerably from water. The workroom used by Mrs Gay and Miss Smith, where tho fire started, was very effectually cleaned out, and contained nothing but a mass of charred remains of tables, chairs, and machines, while the ceiling was completely burned away. From there the flames evidently hurst through into the mantle department, and it is here, that the heaviest loss has been sustained. Piles of charred material, skeleton show cases, for-lorn-looking models bereftt of all adornment, dripping and begrimed, met the eye, while underfoot the sodden floor. The millinery department and the reserve stock room suffered from the smoke, and hat shapes and hundreds of rolls of material are ruined. How near these rooms were to being demolished by the flames is proved by the blistered paint. The dense smoke, indeed, has done considerable damage in many departments. It even penetrated to the new building in George street, blackening the inside of tho roof and cracking the large, skylights. Superintendent Napier points out that this is the third drapery fire within a year or two where, -the trouble started in the work room. It is also another argument in favor of the installation of automatic alarms in large warehouses and shops. Until all the covers are removed and the damage by water ascertained, a full estimate ot the loss cannot be given. Mr Penrose, however, places it, roughly, at £B,OOO, and Superintendent Napier thinks this sum should cover it. —lnsurances, The insurances aro as follow : Building : £4,000, Alliance. Fixtures and fittings : £1,500 —Alliance £SOO. Royal £SOO, and Queensland £SOO. Stock in trade : £24,ooo—Alliance £1,500, Northern £1,500, Australian Alliance £I,OOO, London and Lancashire £I,OOO, Liverpool and London and Globe £I,OOO. National £I.OOO. Norwich Union £I,OOO, Ocean £2,000, Phcenix £I,OOO. Ex-chance £3.000, Roval £1,500, South British £2,000, State Fire Office £4.000, Queensland £SOO, New Zealand £I,OOO, Standard £I,OOO. The damage to the. building is estimated a £2.000 and to tho stock and fittings at£6.ooo.
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FIRE AT PENROSE'S., Evening Star, Issue 15697, 11 January 1915