May 11, 1815: Fire in Town
From The Sarnian Monthly Magazine, June 1825.
On the night of 11th May, a most alarming fire broke out in Mr. Bennett's brewery in Truchot-lane, he being absent in England. At the hour of twelve, the neighbours, who were going to bed, did not perceive any signs of fire about the premises; and in less than twenty minutes afterwards, the flames burst forth, with tremendous fury. The alarm bells were instantly rung; Major Kennedy, quarter master general, with the other officers composing His Excellency Sir John Doyle's staff; Colonel De Butts, with the officers and men of the Royal Engineers and artillery; Major Barrow with the officers and men of the 15th regiment; Lieut.-Col. Gough, with the officers and men of the 87th regiment; Lieut.-Col. Lawrence with the officers and men of the 2nd garrison battalion, immediately repaired to the scene of elementary devastation. By the united efforts of the soldiery, attended with infinite labour, the fire was extinguished by four o'clock in the morning, so as to prevent any apprehension of further danger.
Very fortunately the wind shifted to the Westward, or the whole of that part of the town in the vicinity of Truchot-Lane, would have been laid in ashes. In a store house close to Mr. Bennett's brewery a considerable quantity of sulphur was lodged, and in another equally near, a large portion of flax had been deposited. Mrs Bennett we understand, escaped with some difficulty. The premises were insured for six thousand guineas; and the Royal Court with a laudable zeal have thought proper to investigate the business. And a clerk from the Phoenix-Fire-Office is still here for that purpose. No reason has been assigned as to the cause of the fire taking place.