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ITHE COMMISSIONAIRES IN THE…

GREAT FIRE IN HOLBORN.

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GREAT FIRE IN HOLBORN. Late on Sunday night a tremendous fire broke out in Brooke-Street, Holborn, adjacent to Furnival's-inn, and raged with terrific fury throughout the whole night, destroying in its career the whole of the exten- sive warehouses of Messrs. Meeking and Co., the upholsterers, besides doing very serious damage to twenty other houses and buildings in the neighbour- hood. Messrs. Meeking's establishment comprised eight houses in Brooke-street and three houses in Holborn, communicating with one another on every floor. The premises were three or four stories high, and extending along nearly one-half the length of Brooke- street, while at the rear stood the distillery of Messrs. Brett and Co., brandy merchants, and the chambers on the west side of Furnival's- inn. The property of Messrs. Meeking was left in charge during Sunday of a person who acts as watchman, whose duty it was to go through the various rooms at stated intervals. According to his statement be went his round as late as ten o'clock, when the place appeared all secure, and returned to the dwelling portion of the manufactory, where some thirty young men, assistants, reside. All remained quiet until about a quarter before eleven, when cries of Fire! pro- ceeded from the street, and on one of the young men rushing up into the second floor of the factory he dis- covered that the room where the polishing process was carried on was on fire, and the flames were spread- ing through the range of rooms on that floor with alarming rapidity. The police immediately gave the necessary alarm to the adjacent stations of the Lon- don Fire Brigade, and Captain Shaw, the head of the brigade force, on learning the serious extent of the fire, ordered the available portion of the force with the steam land engines to the spot. By the time the first engine arrived, however, it was evident that no efforts could save any material por- tion of the premises of Messrs. Meeking. The two uppermost floors and roofs of the ten houses from Holborn half wa,y down Brooke-street were in flames from one end to the other. As may be imagined, all expedition was used by the brigade in getting the engines into play; and although this was effected with their usual alacrity, the remaining floors, loaded with new upholstery and furniture of every description, quickly ignited, and the whole presented a general scene of ruin. In Holborn the flames extended to Nos. 138 and 139, a tavern, and also to four houses in Furnival's- inn; and so serious an aspect did the fire assume that at one period it was feared that nothing could save the whole block of property being burnt down. The engines laboured unceasingly till six o'clock next morning in subduing the great body of fire, which kept raging beneath the mass of rains. The walls had fallen in, and this in some measure assisted in check- ing the farther progress of the fire. The amount of insurance effected on the property known to have been destroyed is .224,000, divided between the San, Royal Exchange, Phoeaix, and the Liverpool. But this, it is stated, will not cover the loss by a long way. Fortunately no lives were lost. -L-

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