Just one day later, the Express & Echo ( a daily newspaper) had more, much more, to report:
10th March 1934
TWO LIVES LOST AT CASTLE HILL
TERRIBLE NIGHT BLAZE
DESPERATE EFFORTS TO REACH TRAPPED HOUSEKEEPER
Castle Hill House, Filleigh, the residence of Earl and Countess Fortescue, one of the largest mansions in North Devon, was the scene of a disastrous fire which was discovered in the early hours of the morninig.
The lives of two women members of the household staff were lost. One of the maids, who was rescued from the burning building in a state of collapse, died soon afterwards, while the housekeeper perished in the flames despite unavailing efforts of the would-be rescuers to reach her.
So far, her remains have not been discovered, and she is believed to have perished in the burning debris when the roof collapsed.
The names of the victims are:
Miss Mary Ellen Vincent, Housekeeper, who has been employed at Castle Hill, in the service of the late Earl and the present Earl for 23 years - and
Joyce Davie, a maid, who belonged to Chapleton, Umberleigh.
These two, with two other maids, were the only occupants of the mansion at the time, Earl Fortescue being at Thorpe, Melton Mowbray, his othe seat; but sleeping over the tables in the courtyard, were eight members of the firm of Messrs Keeble of Calisle House, Soho, London, who had been engaged since January 6th on extensive alterations and redecoration of the mansion.