Brookfield Fire

Isle of Wight Observer July 16 1859

FIRE AT LORD BURGHLEY’S RESIDENCE, BROOKFIELD, RYDE
On, Sunday, about 1.20 pm, a horse was furiously ridden to the police station and engine house, and the messenger announced that there was a fire at Brookfield. In the short space of 20 minutes, such is the efficiency of the fire brigade, and the readiness of the inhabitants to assist, the engine was on the spot in full working, notwithstanding that the water had to be fetched from a pond in the field aout 200 feet distant. On arriving on the spot immediately the fire was made known, we found that the fire was confined to the coach-house and stables, the greater part of the roof and loft floor of which was in flames. The firemen, however, soon commenced operations, and at 3.45 the fire was entirely subdued. Fortunately the horses, carriages, and a great part of the harness were saved, and the damage to the building is not great. The stablemen, whose rooms were over the coach-house, suffered the greatest loss, as all their clothes were destroyed. Amongst the debris  we observed two patent “Fire Annihilators”, which, as usual, either for the want of knowledge of how to use them, or other causes, were of no service whatsoever. One thing should be mentioned, and that is, for the want of a sufficient length of hose (or rather because the hose of one engine will not fit that of the other, and thus cannot be made available) a vast amount of extra heavy-labour was required to get the water from the pond to the engine, instead of the engine being close to the pond. To all who assisted, the greatest credit is due, and perhaps we may, without being invidious, particularly name Capt. and Miss Brigstocke, who worked hard in getting the water and directing operations, and their conduct was in strong contrast to that of a lot of buckram tradesmen who stood by without offering to lend the slightest help whatever. Were either of their premises on fire, would they like to be treated so? Of course, such labour is purely voluntary, but we think they would have shewn better taste, if they were too lazy to lend a helping hand, if they had walked off from the scene of destruction. The police also rendered most efficient aid, the whole, with the exception of one, being on the spot.

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