Fire at Rhos – Christmas Day 1908.
On Christmas Day 1908, about eight o’clock in the evening, smoke was seen to be issuing from premises of Dicks’ boot stores, on the Cross,
The alarm was first given by a little girl from Jones street, who happened to be passing. She saw heavy volumes of smoke issuing from an aperture in the window, and with great presence of mind at once ran and informed the police sergeant nearby.
In the meantime, the news reached the ears of Thomas Davies, one of the Rhos Fire Brigade men, who was standing near the Public Hall. He at once ran to the box in which the hose-pipes were kept, and with the help of two other young men succeeded in attaching the pipes to the hydrant at the corner of Smith street. Further aid then came in the persons of three other members of the Fire Brigade.
With praiseworthy promptitude the men got to work, with the result that the hose was soon doing effective work, and the fire was put out in a short time. At first it was very difficult to locate the fire, and one of the men had to enter the shop through the boarded window and explore the place.
It was then found that the fire originated in the sitting room of Mr J. D. Edwards, which was above the shop. The fire in the grate had fallen on the carpet, and this had taken fire and burnt the wooden flooring.
Fortunately, there was a plentiful supply of water, the pressure from the hydrant being calculated to be 25 feet. This is the first occasion the New Fire Extinguisher has been called out, and it must be encouraging to know that the men who have volunteered under Captain Pritchard, are capable and trained and that the hose and appliances have given every satisfaction at its first practical test.
In a conversation with one of the Brigade men, we learned that had it not been for the timely arrival of the Fire Appliance a serious fire might have occurred. In addition to the existing Appliance there should also be in readiness a Fire Escape in case of need. An Escape, in the shape of an iron ladder with hooks to grip the window sills, would enable the men to reach any bedroom or upper window without having to ascend the stairs.
Had there been anyone in the room where the fire took place, and the stairs been impassable, they must have been smothered by the smoke. With the aid of an Escape, the work of rescuing the imprisoned occupants would be easy. While complimenting the Parish Council on the serviceable means of extinguishing fires they have introduced, we should like to see Councillor Pritchard make it his duty to introduce the matter to the notice of the Council.
As reported in the Rhos Herald 9th January 1909
The Fire at Dicks’.
We are informed that the fire which occurred at Dicks’ boot stores on Xmas Day, originated under the hearth in the sitting room above the shop. It seems that one of the joists became heated, with the result that it ran along the joist and set fire to the boarding underneath.
Mr Richards, who lived next door, at once sent a message to Messrs Joseph and Enock Parry, both of whom obeyed without a moment’s loss. They saw at a glance how matters stood, and directed their efforts at combating the fire, by throwing buckets of water, which was obtained from Mr Richards’ bath room. Fortunately, the fire was put out before it had got a hold on the building. The Messrs Parry were assisted by Mr Joseph Mile, Roberts’ Lane, Rhos, and the stock was carefully watched by Sergt Edwards and I P.C. Harris.
Source: Rhos Herald 2nd January 1909; Rhos Herald 9th January 1909