The Late Fire in Oxford Street

The Late Fire in Oxford Street. Click on image to enlarge it. 1869. Source: Illustrated London News.

A scene of great confusion took place on the evening of Wednesday week, in Oxford-street, about half-past seven o’clock, when a fire broke out on the premises of Messrs. Laurie and Marner, coach-builders, near the entrance to Hanover-square. In a few minutes the engines arrived from Wells-street, King-street, Baker-street, and other stations, as well os six or seven powerful steam fire-engines, and those of the parishes of St. Ann’s, Soho, and Marylebone. The turncocks belonging to the Grand Junction Water Company quickly arrived, plugs were drawn both in Hanover-square and Oxford-street, and the water flew up almost as high as the first floor of the houses, both back and front. At this moment his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sutherland, and the Hon. Captain Howard arrived. His Royal Highness looked on with much admiration at the alacrity displayed by the firemen, who were assisted by the Duke of Sutherland, in getting the hose from the engines properly connected, so as to enable them to get the water to bear upon the burning pile. By this time, however, the flames had taken complete possession of the back workshops; they had likewise enveloped the upper floors of the front premises; and, as the flames shot forth, the whole of the western portion of the metropolis became brilliantly illuminated. . . and, as the flames shot forth, the whole of the western portion of the metropolis: became brilliantly illuminated. This caused so many persons to assemble that it was deemed necessary to send to Scotland-yard for all the police that could be spared, who kept a clear space for the working of the engines; but this was a work of no little difficulty. At midnight the fire was not entirely extinguished, although all danger of any further extension of the mischief was over, the official report of Captain Shaw to the Metropolitan Board of Works states that of the building, consisting of four floors, each, about 110 ft. in length by 80 ft., an upper floor, used as workshops, was burnt out, and the second floor damaged by fire and water. The lower floors were also damaged by water, and the stock by removal. The building and its contents were insured in the County, Westminster, Bun, Royal Exchange, and other offices. Fortunately, the whole of the carriages and equipages in the show-rooms on the ground floor were saved. Some of the adjacent houses were at one time in peril, ttat of the Royal Academy of Music, in Tenterden-street, Hanover-square, among others, and more or less damage was done to the roofs by the operations of the firemen and by the hasty removal of furniture.

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“Great Fire in Oxford Street.” Illustrated London News. date? Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 26 December 2015.

Last modified 26 December 2015