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A BAMBLEB'S JOTTINGS.

ALARMING FIRE AT A PENITENTIARY.

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ALARMING FIRE AT A PENITENTIARY. About twenty minutes to five o'clock on Friday morning information was conveyed to Oliver-street station that fire had broken out in The Home," otherwise called the Penitentiary, 52, Mason-street, Edge-hill, Liverpool. A reel was immediately dis- patched from that station, and information was sent to the other offices. An engine was at once forwarded from Hatton-garden station under the command of Superintendent Hewitt; the West of England engine, under the charge of Mr. Barrett, was also in atten- dance; and engines were likewise sent from Brownlow- hill and Prescot-street, and a reel from Seel-street. By the time that the engines arrived at the spot the flames had spread over the whole of the building, and very great anxiety was felt for the safety of the in- mates, who, besides Mrs. Wild, the respected matron, numbered about fifty. The women were, of course, the first who were removed from the burning building, and, through the kindness of a gentleman whose humanity and greatnes-s of heart are well-known and appreciated by all who have the slightest acquaintance with him, they were speedily taken to a place of safety. Major Melly attended'at the scene of conflagration early in the morning, and at once placed the store- 1 house of the 4th Liverpool Artillery Volunteers, which adjoins the penitentiary, at the disposal of Dr. White, j secretary. Messrs. Jeffrey, Morrish, and Co. have j undertaken to send up, free of charge, a number of beds, bedding, and other articles to meet the require- ] ments of the fifty poor women who have been thus sud- denly deprived of a home. In the meantime the fire 3 had progressed to such an extent, in consequence of the very high wind which prevailed, that it was at i once seen to be hopeless to attempt to preserve almost any part of the premises. Indeed, the building was J almost completely gutted before the engines reached the spot, and the efforbs of the firemen were therefore directed chiefly towards the preservation of the sur- rounding property. There being a very good supply I of water, they were eminently successful in doing so, and fortunately a large amount of property, of con- siderable value, was saved from the inevitable destruc- tion which must have ensued had not the engines arrived at the time they did. The building is entirely destroyed, and only a very few trifling articles of fur- niture have been saved. It is also in such a dangerous state that a large number of policemen are required to prevent the crowds of people who are inclined to con- gregate in the vicinity, from approaching in too close proximity, as portions of the structure are falling every now and then. The origin of the fire is a matter of doubt, but it is thought that the stove in the Laundry had been overheated, and that a considerable collection of clothes, which was placed there for the purpose of being dried, had in consequence become j ignited. The home was an asylum for fallen females, < and was instituted after two midnight meetings had been held, which were attended respectively by 175 and 300 unfortunate women. It was opened in 1860, and has been attended with considerable success since the benevolent object for which it was started took a practical shape. The building was of an irregular character, and it is understood that it will require upwards of < £ 2,000 to replace it.

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