(From the "Manitoban.")
It was about nine o'clock on the night of the 3rd of December that the Parliament-house was discovered to be on fire by MR. CROWSON, who lived in and had charge of the premises, and on the alarm being given there was a general turn-out of citizens to the spot.
Had there been a few buckets of water handy at the commencement of the fire, there is every reason to believe that the House would have been saved, but before any water could be obtained, the fire had gained such headway that the attention of those in the building was given to saving the furniture, &c.
The windows were broken open on the second story, and chairs, tables, desks, books and papers were hurled out indiscriminately, and amid the confusion, it is feared many valuable documents have been lost or destroyed.  The wind, which was blowing quite a gale at the time, carried off many papers which will probably never again be heard of.
The throne and Speaker's chair were removed to a place of safety, as well as the members' desks and other furniture, and in a very short time the building appeared to be gutted of everything except the library.  The work of taking the books from the shelves and hurling them out of the windows occupied some time, and before all the volumes could be got out, the fire had reached the stairway, and it was necessary to abandon the task.
During all this time, water by the bucketful was all that could be obtained, and not a sufficient supply of that to do any good.  MR. RADIGER, with a Babcock extinguisher on his back, moved about from place to place, ready at any moment to douse any flame that might spring up among the surrounding buildings.
Some time after the flames had gained full headway, the fire engine from Fort Garry was brought to the spot by a number of men of the Provisional Battalion and several of our citizens.  The hose was quickly attached to the engine, a number of water sleighs from the neighbouring houses, keeping up a regular communication between the river and the fire-engine.
The fire, however, gradually reduced the building to ashes.
The structure was very substantial, and, on account of the walls having been filled in between the studding with mud, it burnt very slowly.  The night was bitterly cold, and in consequence, many of those working at the fire were frostbitten, and in some cases, through the excitement of the moment, were unaware of the fact for some time.
An attempt had been made to remove the safe, but it was found impossible to do so, and it was left to its fate;  no fears are felt, however, for the safety of its contents.
The ruins present a desolate appearance, and the absence of one of the largest buildings in Winnipeg creates a great void in our principal street.