Today in history: Disastrous fire and a successful ball

28 Dec

1864: Gladstone has been refreshed with a very wet Christmas, the rain descending in torrents all Saturday and Sunday, breaking up early on Monday morning, when old Sol made his welcome appearance.

The races, yesterday, went off with great éclat. The race ball held at the Queen's Hotel was better patronised than ever.

1915: A disastrous fire broke out about eleven o'clock last night.

The outbreak was first noticed between an empty shop and premises occupied by J Kulick, hairdresser.

The flames spread quickly through the premises of FW Clarke, chemist, and Moghie, dentist, and also in the opposite direction to AS Glegg's stationer's shop, and thence to Mrs AR Fry's confectioners shop and the boot shop of George McCrudden.

All these buildings were totally destroyed.

The flames spread with alarming rapidity, and measures to check them were hampered by the absence of an organised fire brigade and water supply.

The fire was stopped at Malouf's building.

The contents of these premises and several others were hastily removed, and in consequence suffered considerable damage.

The Grand Hotel had a narrow escape from destruction. The outbreak was under control by 1.30 this morning.