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DISTRICT NWS. - - - - - -…




ALARMING FIRE.—TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE COTTON MILL. On Thursday morning last, between four and five o'clock, the cotton mill occupied by Messrs Bateson, at Rhydygolen, was discovered to be on fire, the flames at that time proceeding out of the windows of the store rooms, on the second floor, where a large quantity of cotton was stored, and in a short time nearly the whole mass of building were in flames. Between five and six o'clock the sight was awfully grand," the wind blew furiously at the time and spread the flames in all directions, which lighted up the heavens with their brilliancy, and scattering the lively sparks among the neighbouring trees The mill was a large square bail- ding, and had two wings added to it since its construction, and was six or seven storeys high. The destruction was most rapid, and by seven o'clock the roof, floors, parti- tions, and a number of the outer walls bad fallen down one after the other in quick succession, leaving large heaps of debris below, leaving but a high chimney, two or three gables, and a couple of massive brick pillars in the interior, standing; which, at the time we write, are momentarily expected to fall. A fearful explosion was expected to take place from the gasometer on the pre- mises, there being a considerable quantity in, but up to eight o'clock on Thursday it had suffered no injury. The boiler room, one engine room, with some sheds, the manager's house and offices, which were disconnected from the main building, have been partially preserved, The town engine and an engine belonging to the pro- prietors of the mill were on the spot at an early hour, but the fire had gained such hoi J, and the storm was so raging that nothing could be attempted towards saving the mill. About seven o'clock the engines were brought to play upon the sheds and the engine rooms, and it is estimated that about one thousand pounds' worth of property was saved by the eflort. The value of the machinery used at this mill was J612,000, there being 25,000 self-acting mule spindles. There was about L2,000 worth of cotton in process, a very small quantity only of which was saved. We understand that the machinery and stock are covered by insurance. No I clue can be gathered as to how the fire originated; it was first discovered in the cellar card room. The mill was the property of Mr Gregg, and Messrs Bateson had a lease for ten years on the premises, six of which have expired. The sad accident has caused quite a gloom in the town, as the loss will be felt very extensively, the number of hands employed reaching to 220 men, girls, and boys.