FIRE NEAR ASPATRIA.
About half past ten o'clock on Tuesday evening, a large stock of barley situated at Old Hall, near Oughterside, the property of Mr. William NORMAN, of Hall Bank was discovered on fire. A messenger was immediately despatched to Aspatria for assistance. The ringing of the fire bell soon called together the members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade, who with their engine, were speedily on the spot, accompanied by many other willing hands.
By this time the flames were raging over the entire length of the stack. Praiseworthy efforts were made to save, by removal, as much as possible, water, (not over abundant) being kept plying, and doing good service. By dint of this sort of hard work, the fire was subdued, but even the large quantity saved is rendered useless unless for rough purposes. The loss, however, is covered by insurance.
Much conjecture arises to the origin of the fire. It would appear that during the day, the men were thrashing by steam power an adjoining stack on the east side, whilst the wind came from the west; so, if it had arisen from sparks flying out of the funnel or fire, they must have smouldered for near six hours, and in an old, dry stack it is deemed an improbability by many.
Mr. NORMAN thanked the fire brigade and others for their alacrity, labour and attendance, conveying the same to Captain Joseph WILSON. Refreshments from Hall Bank were served at intervals to those rendering assistance, whilst those of the callous tribe, whose attendance is hardly desirable, were properly removed from the immediate vicinity of the conflagration by the police officer on duty. It is not the first time we have had to complain on this score. Such had better remain at home than impede the efforts of those kindly disposed to assist a neighbour in such a dire emergency.
Another correspondent says that, unfortunately the supply of water was rather scant, and at a considerable distance, but by means of water carts and a strong contingent of willing hands with buckets, the engine supply was kept fairly up, but not until after several hours had elapsed was the fire brought under. The remnants of the stack were then separated, and by the measures taken a large quantity was saved, though of course, the quality is much deteriorated.
The origin of the fire is a mystery, but it is thought that some embers had been left smouldering unseen about an engine which had been in use during the day for threshing an adjoining rick of barley. The stack would be worth from £80 to £100, but we understand that it is covered by insurance.
Great praise is again due to the captain, the indefatigable secretary, Mr. Joseph LANGCAKE, and the members of the fire brigade, for their untiring exertions, and also the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who mustered in great force, and readily lent their valuable assistance. This is the fourth fire that has occurred in a few years within a short distance of the scene of the above conflagration, at all of which the fire brigade have rendered efficient service.