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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Parish Records




War Memorials

        Continued from the previous page

The fire was now arrested in this direction and by eight o'clock the helpers had, in a great measure, succeeded in preventing its further spread. People had then time to look round and were appalled to see what an awful destruction had been caused. That no less than 15 houses were entirely destroyed and very little of the contents had been saved. Happily there were no lives lost, and all the horses and catle were got safely away from the burning buildings. As before stated, the fire broke out on the premises of Mr Tucker, baker, who lost not only all his furniture but 40 sacks of flour.  Immediately behind his bakehouse is the stable, divided by a slight partition. It is supposed that the smoke getting into the stable frightened the horse and thus the danger was known.


In Mr Tucker's house were his wife and two children; next came the Butcher's Arms, in which were Mr Martin, his wife, 3 children and servants. The two cottages behind were inhabited by Widow Hallett and her 4 children plus Philip Rutley, his wife and 4 children. On the opposite side of Fore Street lived Robert Haydon, a labourer, and his wife; Widow King, aged 84 and her daughter; Mr Mortimore junior, a saddler and son of the carrier and his 6 children; Mrs Armstrong, a widow , Mrs Rose, a Widow and shop keeper Mrs Membury also a widow, and Widow Tucker's. Next to these came three slate-roofed houses, in which lived Mr Lake, tailor, his wife and 2 daughters; Mr Perry, clerk at the Paper Mills, his wife and four children; and Mr Hurditch, clerk at the railway station, his wife and four children - all these persons were burnt out of house and  home.


Great sympathy is felt for the sufferers, for although some of them are moved the losses are much above the amount of the insurance. Some of those who have suffered are in humble circumstances and a subscription is to be made to relieve their immediate wants. Mr Tucker will be o ne of the greatest sufferers, for he has lost everything - furniture, stock-in-trade and clothing. he is only insured to a small amount in the Westminster Insurance Office. By the flour, he will lose between £90 and £100. Mr Mortimore senior, who saved part of his furniture, is partly insured, but he will be a great loser by the corn, hay, straw and wood which it was impossible to save from his stables. He had barely time to get out his three horses. Mr Martin who is only partly insured, lost a good deal as did Mr Lake, who lives in his own house and owns the one adjoining. He also is only partially insured. The furniture that was saved was taken to the Town Hall. Mr Mortimore junior, the saddler and harness maker has not lived in Bradninch for many months, and he is entirely uninsured. From what could be gathered yesterday, hardly any of the others are insured. They will be sad losers , especially some of those living on  the opposite side of the street to where the fire broke out. They had been lending a helping hand on the other side, and were very much alarmed when they found the wind had suddenly shifted and their houses were being rapidly destroyed. With the short supply of water, they found that not only was there no help for their dwellings, but no time to save their goods. It is thought that the damage caused a ltogether will amount to between £2000 and £300. Eight of the houses are the properties of the late Mr C. Matthews, which the executors believe are insured in the Yorkshire office. Mr Tucker's house and premises are insured by Sun insurance to the amount of about £250 and the rest of the property that was destroyed in the West of England, the Liverpool and London and Globe Offices.




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