Old news from Armidale and New England

Local news from newspaper archives

The fire at Inverell

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Thursday 24 April 1902, The Sydney Morning Herald

INVERELL, Wednesday.

Miss Wilson, the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Wilson, who were burnt to death yesterday, was much improved to-day. She was unable this morning to leave her bed at McCosker’s Hotel. She states that her mother and she spent the evening out, returning at 10.30. She went to her father’s room and gave him a cup of coffee. He seemed well then. She went to bed, and was awakened by hearing Mrs. Hunt (a neighbour) calling out. The fire ha then reached her room, and the clothes hanging on the wardrobe were burning. She sprang from the bed, and met the flames in the hall. A bucket of water was kept in each room, and she threw one on the fire. She rushed to the window overlooking a lane. She leaped on to a shed, off which she fell to the ground, a distance of 10ft, her hip being slightly injured. She did not hear or see anything of her parents. Mr. Wilson occupied a room next to the drawing room, the boys the adjoining room, and Miss Wilson the next one. The boys have no recollection of how they were awakened, but all ran downstairs together.

The wife of Mr. Hunt, who kept a saddler’s shop adjoining Mr Wilson’s, says she heard Mr. Wilson call for a light at 12 o’clock. She dozed off. but was awakened about an hour afterwards by a hissing sound. She at once awoke her husband, who leaped to the window, and saw flames beginning to issue from the roof of Mr. Wilson’s building. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt at once rushed for their three children. Before they got to the staircase the wall of Mr. Wilson’s house fell outwards, and almost instantly their place burst into flames.

Constables Jones and Conen observed the fire when they were at the west end of Byron-street, about 300 yards away. They gave the alarm, and on reaching the scene the flames were bursting through the centre of the roof. They climbed the balcony, the door opening on to which was ajar. The place was full of smoke. They called out loudly, but got no answer. Flames almost immediately rushed through the door and drove them from the balcony. The police roused the inmates of the adjoining premises.

Mr. L. D. Bice, stock agent, who followed the constables to the fire, says he saw the youngest boy running up and down Otho-street screaming “Mother, father’s burnt.” He pacified the little boy. The eldest son of deceased, Mr James Wilson, a member of tho Permanent Artillery Band, and a daughter, Mrs. Clift arrived from Sydney to-day.

There is no water supply beyond well tanks, most of which are empty. There is no fire brigade here.

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Written by macalba

September 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. Charles and Eliza Wilson were my 2nd Great Grandparents. It was a terrible tragedy for the family. I have been doing Family Tree research and any descendants are welcome to contact me if they wish.

    Robyn Allman

    April 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm


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