WAIORONGOMAI. [From our own Correspondent.]
Waiorongomai, Wednesday, I uegret to report that the bush fire, which was first noticed abouL eight or ten days ago, has within the past few days been the cause of severe losses to some of the miners residing near the tramway. The fire, which started near the Lower Hill Track, crossed the tramway line on Saturday last, and the first to suffer thereby was Mr Darby. It appears Mr Darby came down from his wo ilc at the mines about four o'clock, and before leaving home for Waiorongomai for his pay, he took the precaution to damp the roof of his house by throwing a few buckets of water on it, he then proceeded down to the Te Aroha S. and G-. M. Co.'s office, and meeting Mr Thos. GoLdsworthy (whose house is only a short distance from Darby's) remaiked that they had better return home again with as little delay as possible on account of the fire in the bush. Mr GoMsworthy acquiesced, and they both hurried back, but only to find that during his absence MiDarby's house and contents had been completely destroyed. Mrs Darby only succeeded in saving veiy few things, and many valuables were lost, such as a good collection of books that cost twenty pounds, also a silver cornet valued at eight pounds, many articles lost being such as cannot be easily re-placed. For Mr and Mrs Darby widespread sympathy is expressed on all sides, and I hear that the ladies of Waiorongomai are arranging a sewing bee for the purpose of assisting them ; as even the child rens clothing was nearly all burnt. •The houses of Messrs Thos. and H, Goldsworthy were a'so in great danger from the bush fire, but with the kind assistance of neigh hours and fiiends from the flat, by constant watching were saved. Mr Alfred Scott's house ; which also is close to the tramway, was likewise imperilled ; so much so that everything was carried outside, the family taking refuge in a building on top of Fein Spur. Messrs Kirker, Andiows, and May, were also occasioned much anxiety owing to the spread of the fire ; as on Monday night it came very close indeed to their properties, the wind blowing the sparks repeatedly on the roof of their houses, some of winch being composed of thatch, constant watching was a necessity. Those mentioned moved everything out of their houses, and when assisting in the removal, Mr i Booth, whilst helping to carry out a stove, fell and cut his upper lip very severely. A quantity of firewood, belonging to the Te Arolia S, an G. M. Co. is stacked adjacent to the line, and the tramway hands have been keeping watch along the line night and day since Saturday last to prevent its being burnt. About eleven o'clock on Monday night the fire had somewhat subsided near the Fern Spur, but was raging with great fury near the tramway bridge. Here were placed a number of men prepared for any emergency, with ropes, buckets, and axes. lam glad to say, however, that the bridge did not catch fire. The fire has now pretty well burnt itself out, Leing confined principally to stumps and barrels of trees. About one o'clock yesterday sparks from the bush fire wete blown on to Mr D. K. Young's house, which is situated in the ! gully, at the first sharp turn on the Lower Hill Track, leading to the New Era Battery. Mr Young was at the time playing cricket at Waiorongomai, and before he got home the house was burnt to the ground. I understand, however, most of its contents were saved, several small detached rooms and sheds also escaped the destroying element, and were availed of for an immediate make shift. Mr Young, I believe, purposes rebuilding in the township. Distressing Accident, — I have to report that an accident of a painful nature occurred here this evening to a little child of Mr Moiiarty's. It appears that Mrs Moriarty was using a little kerosene from a small tin to light the fire, and had replaced the tin in the outhouse, the child, who is about eighteen month's old, had been watching the proceedings, and directly the mother's back was turned went to the tin and drank some of the kerosene, whether little or much I cannot say. The mother's attention was attracted to the litile chap I by its violent spitting and coughing, and she saw at once what had happened. The child got rapidly wor?e, ami Mr Moriarty hastened to Te Aroha tor medical assistance, but none was obtainable. In the meantime emetics were freely administered and with good results, and I am glad to say the little one appears to be now out of danger. General News : — The wire tramway (Rowlands contract) has been fixed up, and sawn junks are again being delivered at the Bat'ery,
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