Fire Destroyed Mill

The rhythm of normal business was dramatically interupted in March 1907 when a major fire destroyed Nicks & Co’s saw mill. The fire spread to some of the timber in the yard, which soon became one great mass of flames that lit up the whole neighbourhood. The local fire brigades set up four hoses spraying water from the city mains, and the Salamander fire-float pumped water from the canal. These combined efforts brought the fire under control in about three hours, but pumping continued for a further four hours until the fire was fullyextinguished. (Fig. 3)

Two further fires in the neighbouring timber yards on the following days led to suspicion that all three had been started deliberately, and a young man later confessed that he was responsible, saying that he had just wanted to see the fire-float at work! (34) Although the damage was serious, the mill was soon rebuilt on the same site, and the business returned to normal.

We have a couple of Videos of the fires: