Monday, March 17, 2014

Fire at the Wairoa Bell (1908)


Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19081126-13-8

A fire occurred here early on Sunday morning, destroyng. about  £4,000 worth of property in Victoria street About 2.30 a.m., the watchman discovered an outbreak of fire in the back.premises of the "Wairoa Bell" newspaper building. On account of the dry nature of the material the flames quickly got a strong hold, and the building and content were quickly, demolished..
Mr. H. Serjeant's fancy goods shop attached to the "Bell" office was .also destroyed. Mr. J. Collins wholesale produce and plumbing business, and the Dargaville Club building (next to Collins)was burnt to the ground.
Mr. J. Stallworthy, proprietor of the "Wairoa Bell," saved, nothing, and but little stock was saved by Mr. Collins. Mr. Serjeant, saved, nothing .The furniture of the dub was saved. Fortunately, what little wind was blowing was from.the north, otherwise the whole of one side  of Victoria-street must have gone. Excellent work, of the fire, brigade and. a bucket brigade prevented the fire spreading, though at one time the gravest doubt existed as to preventing the fire from crossing the street .to. the premises of McLean (baker) and Adams (draper).
 As.far as can be gathered the insurances are as follows:— "Wairoa Bell" newspaper, £600 on plant, etc., and building, in the Government office; Collins, on stock, in the London and Liverpool, £250  on the building and machinery in the New Zealand; H. Serjeant, £100 in the Imperial and £150 in the Government office, on stock; Dargaville Club. £350 on buildings and £140: on billiard-table and furniture and £75 in the Victoria office.
Auckland Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 274, 16 November 1908, Page 5

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