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1 DREADFUL FIRE AT NEW-' PORT.1

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1 DREADFUL FIRE AT NEW-' PORT. FOUR LIVES LOST: SEVEN PER- SONS RESCUED. FAMILY SUFFOCATED BY THE FUMES. BABY'S BODY FOUND UNDER ITS FATHER'S ARMS. A disastrous fire broke out on Sunday morning at No. 3, Commercial-road, New- port, a bicycle and gramophone shop, kept by George Probert, which resulted in the loss of four persons, and the hair breadth e.,capes of seven others. Probert, hs wife and children lived on the premises, which were sub-let to two other men, David Pomeroy, a G.W.R. fireman, and Henry Johnston, a billiard marker, who also had their wives and families with them, and a kxiger named Edgar Jones. In all eleven persona were on the premises. About haii an hour a.iter midnight a man named David Hopkins, who v 18 talking to a friend a short dstance from the shop, noticed a big light in Mr. P'obert's shop, and running down to the ace made an unsuccessful attempt to r Me the inmates. Hie. companion, James r;,«a, then decided to break the ijlass in shop window and enter, but foo-id it impossible to extinguish the fire, the room iLiing with suffocating fumes. Bord ore <Jt .ven out of the shop, and it is to be feared that their action in smashing the »v-^dow and letting a draught from the 6' eet play upon the fire, materially ex- p, iited the growth of the conflagration. ihe shop and it* contents were at the aercy of the riamefl in an incredibly short srtgoa of time. There Wit) amongst the sv.k much that was highly inflammable. i;a.f-pint tins of cycle oil, though severally w-jwed down, began to "pop" off with aii "ming results. The -ceilaJoid qT»mp- pixne recorcU naturally added materially to .he fierceness of the blaze, which was so great that the flames shot out through the &hop front and made it impossible Ior the now gathering crowds to stand in the mid- dle of the roadway. Bicycle Parts wcre seen to be crumpling up and being distorted into unrecognisable stupes, while the rub- ber goods about them were giving otI over- po" ering iutues. i-1 the meantime the alarm had been g- 1 "a> the fire brigade had reached the &p- u, and some of the inmates bad mads tneir escape from the back of the premises. The Proberts, Mrs. Johnston and the lod- ger appear to have made their exit through a window, and descended by means of a ladder reared up against the wasii-house, and crossing into the rear of the aujoining premises. The other inmates, who included Dd. Pomeroy, his wife .Margaret, and eleven- months' old child, Firmby Harold Pomeroy, together with the billiard marker. JOhll- ston, were, however, less lucky. Mrs. Pomeroy appeared at the front room win- dow on the second floor with Her child. Some people shouted to her to jump, and a ladder was erected, but the man who as- cended it was beaten back by the fire, and Mrs. Pomeroy vanished in the background 01 flame and smoke, and that was f lie last seen of the four ill-fated persons antil the lire had been get under, when, on inspect- ing the premises, the firemen found in the first-floor room above the shop the bodies of two men, a woman, and a child. They were lying on their backs on the rfoor side by side. The bodies bore the appearanoe j of having been suffocated, none of iem being much burnt. They all had articles of clothing on at the time of the discovery I •which were not in any way burnt. The fact points to an attempt to drc-i on awakening and discovering the fire, instead of making an immediate effort to escape. The baby's body was found under its father's arm, and it was believed at first that it was still alive. Attempts at resus- citation, however, failed. The fire had been extinguished wi:ín an hour and a quarter of the outbreak. The crowd interfered with the operations of the brigade, which did all in its power to minimise the damage, bat deep regret was felt by the firemen that they had been un- able to save the lives of the lour who perished. The superintendent of th. bri- gade believes the latter mast have joet their beads, as they could have got out by k- ing themso'vea together and hanging from the window. I

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PERIOD OF PROSPERITY PREDICTED.

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