At ten minutes to three o'clock on Friday morning, a fearful explosion
took place at No. 69, Moscow-road, Bayswater, London, resulting in the
immediate death of two adult persons and five children.
The occupier of the premises named is Mr. TITHERIDGE, who, in addition
to carrying on the business of confectioner, sold fireworks and other
combustibles. The front of the shop was blown out with a dreadful violence, and the
house which was occupied by 13 persons, was the next moment in flames.
Mr. TITHERIDGE, who is an invalid, contrived to creep from his bedroom
to the top of the stairs, and, after rolling down them, was rescued by a
neighbour. His wife and three of his children were saved in a similar manner.
Three members of Mr. TITHERIDGE's family were hopelessly caged in by the flames,
and met with a speedy death.
The upper portion of the house was occupied by a widow, Mrs. JACK, and
three of her family, one of whom was a school master in the country, and had
come up to London to spend his Michaelmas holidays with his mother. The
screams which issued from the apartments occupied by this family were fearful, and
the scene was rendered more horrible by the fact that no human help could
avail in saving them. After the lapse of a few minutes the shrieks subsided, and
it was then known that their dreadful fate was sealed. The catastrophe occupied
but a very short time.
The following is a list of the dead: -
Elizabeth TITHERIDGE, aged nine years
Emma TITHERIDGE, five
Edward TITHERIDGE, three
Mrs. JACK, 52
Stewart JACK, 28
Agnes JACK, 17
Henry JACK, 14
Another account states that a police constable had his attention
directed to a small quantity of smoke pouring through the windows of the shop, and
before he had time to spring his rattle, a loud explosion was heard, and every
room in the house became on fire and the roof fell. To render any assistance
to those in the house at once became impossible, owing to the fury of the
flames. The fire escape arrived in course of a few minutes, but the conductor was
unable to enter the building, as the flames rushed through every window some
distance across the road.
Mr. TITHERIDGE was so severely burned that he was taken to the
hospital, where he lies with little hope of recovery.