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A. M. 35
The number of fires on each day of the weeh was as follows:
101 102 Their hourly distribution throughout the day and night has been as follows:
First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Seventh Eighth Ninth Tenth Eleventh Twelfth
38 24 21 19 14 7 20 14 89 14 24 P. M. 16 27 16 16 21 26 47 42 79 59
38 A careful and elaborate investigation into the causes of these fires gives the following result; and it is to be regretted that the numbers known to have been wilful, and others that occured under very suspicious circumstances, are so great.
There have been occasioned by -
5 certained to have been for Linen, airing of
27 the most part unavoidable. 24 Lucifer matches, making 9 Apparel ignited on the person Ditto, using
7 1 fatal)
5 Ovens, defective, overheated&c.13 Candles, various accidents from 72 Reading and sewing in bed (1 Ditto, setting fire to bed-cur- fatal.
5 tains (3 fatal)
76 Shavings, loose, ignited 35 Dilto, window-curtains 36 Spontaneous ignition of coals Carelessness, palpable instances
1 of.. 25
1 Children playing with candles 3
4 Ditto, fire ii fatal)
lamp-black. 4 Ditto, lucifers
phosphorus. 1 Fires, sparks from
rags, damp. 3 Ditto kindled on hearths and
ditto, oily (1 in other improper places. 8
3 Fire-heat, various applications
rubbish of, to hazardous manufactures 16
shoddy. Fireworks, making of (1 fatal) 3
1 Ditto, letting off.
wool Flues, delective
11 Stoves, defective, overheated&c.30 Ditto, foul.
6 Ditto, overheated.
3 Ditto, stopped up
10 Friction of machinery
2 Fumigation, incautious 2
3 Furnaces, overheated, &c. 12 Suspicious (1 fatal)
7 Gas, various accidents from the Tobacco smoking
22 escape of 11 falal) .: 27 Wilful.
13 Ditto, carelessness in lighting 9 Ditto, left burning 11
673 Illumination. . . 1. Undiscovered (4 latal)
. 23 Intoxication (1 fatal)
5 Lamps, sparks from, &c. 5
In a lecture recently delivered at the Royal Adelaide Gallery, by Mr. Booth, F. S. S., on the fires of London, their causes and prevention, he stated that in a period of five years there were in London no less than 2476 fires. These he divided, as regards their causes, into three classes, controllable, partly controllable, and partly uncontrollable, and after expatiating upon these classes, the lecturer proceeded to observe that, notwithstanding all the vigilance of inquiry that was adopted, there remained a large number of instances in which the causes were unassigned. These he endeavoured to ascribe to spontaneous combustion, observing that certain chemical combinations would take place in bodies, by which heat was elicited safficient to ignite the bodies themselves, or any substance with which it might be in contact. The series of circumstances under which this took place, was of a very important character, and sufliced to explain many fires of mysterious origin; and what confirmed this view of the case was, that many of the unknown fires originated in those trades in which substances were employed, in which spon. taneous combustion was likely to take place. Mr. Booth ennmerated fifty-five instances in which spontaneous ignition might ensue, many of which are well known, others of questionable authenticity. He then alluded to the occurrence of fires from very singular causes; amongst these were fires proved to have been produced by transparent substances, acting as lenses, and concentrating the rays of the sun; such as glass globes with gold fish, show-bottles in apothecaries and chemists' shops, and water bottles in bed-chambers, which had each been known to ignite bed and window curtains, Coarse and blistered glass, used in sky-lights, had caused explosions in gunpowder manufactories; as had also lime, when used in the desiccation of that substance. Lime had likewise, by accidental flooding, set fire to many buildings where it was in contact with combustible substances. Under friction, Mr. Booth alluded to the danger of fire occurring from congreve matches, stating that they were liable to ignite after they had been thrown away as useless; the inflammable material was also frequently thrown aside to a considerable distance, and might be productive of great mischief. On these accounts, their use should be prohibited in warehouses and manufactories where combustible matters are kept or used. Amongst the causes of mysterious fires, might also be enumerated the embers of tobacco and cigars, which falling upon saw-dust, or being carried to hay. ricks, would prove their destruction, even after some time had elaps. ed, as they acted like touchwood, from the nitre which they contained.
Having entered thus minutely into a series of circumstances, little understood, and less guarded against, the lecturer stated, that by attention to the published causes of fire, great good would be accomplished. The number of fires continually occurring from overheated flues and stoves particularly demanded altention. The flues of buildings which had been constructed for heating merely by the simple combustion of wood or coal burned in open fire grates, are not at all fitted to be exposed to the intense heat given off by several of the modern stoves. The great principle of these modern contrivances was to obtain and diffuse as large a proportion of heat from as small a surface as possible, and with the least consumplion of fuel; and one of the means, was limiting the draught of air. The air thus concentrated áttains a very high degree of temperature, sufficient to ignite any combustible substances with which it may come in contact; besides which, the conductile power for heat of bricks and plaster becomes much modified by being constantly subjected to its influence. In this; Mr. Booth considers lies the great secret of the destruction of many modern public bnildings; and the inquiry is of 'much public importance, because the causes of destruction may, even' now, be in slow. and insidious operation to the eventual destruction of other national, and particularly sacred edifices, from the general introduction of new fashioned stoves into such buildings. It was also, he remarked, notorious that there existed means, of making buildings fire-proof, so that when a fire occurred, it might be confined to the apartment in which it originated.
of the sixteen fatal fires, the following seem to require especial notice, attended as some of them have been by, circumstances most distressing to the feelings of humanity, and most disgraceful to the police on duty in the several localities, who have shown a neglect and want of tact almost incredible.
May 3, 114, P. M. Mr. Berlyn, dealer in marine stores, Churchlane, Whitechapel. The bodies of the two children, Abraham Weller, and Edward Weller, were found after the fire was extinguished, at the back part of the ruins, burnt in a most frightful manner. A coroner's inquest was held the same evening, and after a lengthened and unsatisfactory investigation, a verdict of accidental death was returned.
July 2, 11 P. M. Mr. Reilly, chair-maker, Quicksett-row, Newroad, Marylebone. This fire was supposed to have been occasioned by one of Mr. Reilly's workmen, who lodged in the house, and returned home about 11 o'clock in a state of intoxication. He retired to his room, from which he never came forth alive, but perished in the funeral pyre he had unwittingly kindled, dying a most dreadful «drunkard's death.
Three fires, as already narrated, proved fatal to firemen; one terminated fatally from a sudden explosion of gunpowder; four were fatal to children from the ignition of the beds on which they lay; and three from the ignition of wearing apparel on the person. The most extraordinary case of burning that ever came within
my knowledge, is set forth in the following narrative from the
- how frail we are,
The means that bring us to our end!»
In my last report I mentioned that an improved marine fire engine was building for the Emperor of Russia, by Mr. Merryweather. During the past summer this niagnificent machine has been completed, and now floats on the waters of the Nevà, affording the protection of its immense power, in case of fire, to St. Petersburgh and its environs,
The Sovereigns of Prussia and of Russia have now, the one the finest steam fire-engine, the other the finest marine fire-engine in the world.
The exertions of the West of England firemen, under their excellent foreman, Mr. Connerton, continue to merit especial notice.
The promptitude of their attendance may be very well illustrated by mentioning that, in upwards of fifty instances, they have shared the rewards for early arrival, which are only allotted to the frst three engines - including among these, their attendance at Camberwell (twice,) Deptford, Greenwich, Blackheath, Islington, Hammersmith, and other distant places. Their zeal and activity in getting to work, on arriving at a fire, have been fully equal to their expedition in reaching it; and there have been few fires of any magnitude in the metropolis, at which the West of England firemen have not borne 'a conspicuous part, and greatly distinguished themselves.
THOUGHTS. With every year that we live, the sphere of our sensibilities contracts. For every day steals from love some object whose place is filled by no new one. Thus we die by a gradual decay, till at last nothing but self remains to be embraced in the arms of our affections; and thus our sensibilities, our life, draw to a close sooner than our existence. But the heart resists this premature death with all its powers ; and no sooner does it feel the chill approaching, than it concentres all its warmth into one focus. Its loss renders
Ś more fervent the love for what is left to it, and with the last object are linked the ties that bound it to all that is gone.
We are not precise enough in our distinctions when we attribute all the power of a woman to her pretty face. It may indeed begin there, but she shews her power and the great characteristic difference between her 'and man by a whole region of influences. It is the mild and graceful movements of the body, the sweet voice, the gentle undemonstrativeness, the yielding complaisance, the mild unobtrusiveness of intellect, that constitute the charm which we erroneously impute to the attractions of the face.
I would not be a woman, for then I could not love her.
The philosopher's stone was the foundation of many a madbouse.