FIVE LORDS AT A FIRE.
[From the London News, March 10.]
Carlton House Terrace was the scene of great excitement for several hours last night consequent on the outbreak of fire at the residence of Earl Granville, No. 18. The discovery was made by a police constable on duty in St. James Park, who saw smoke and sparks proceeding from the back of the mansion, which extends to the “Mall.” While he went to the terrace to give the alarm another officer conveyed the intelligence to the chief police station in Scotland Yard, and the fire brigade was communicated with without delay. The response to the “call” by the latter was highly creditable to the system observed in the working of the brigade —11 Steam and 6 Manual Engines being stationed in the vicinity of the Duke of Yorks’Column in a very short time. Soon afterward Superintendent Gernon, Chief Inspector Edis, Inspector Horsley, and over 200 constables from the A Division of Police came on the scene, while the C Division furnished 100 more men, under Superintendent Dunlop and Inspector Sheppard. It was about 6.15 when the servants were warned of the fire, of the existence of which no one in the residence was aware. The seat of the outbreak seems to have been a corner roc m facing the park, at the top of the building, which was used as a laundry. The Earl and Countess, with their children, had been on a visit to Lady Russell, at Richmond, and, on their return, they called at Buckingham Palace, to visit the Crown Prince and Princess of Germany, not knowing at the time they alighted at the royal residence that their house in Carlton House Terrace was on fire. The whole of the upper floor soon became alight, and Capt. Shaw, seeing the danger in which the valuable contents of the residence beneath were placed, ordered that additional aid should be given in the removal of the property. One party was engaged in placing the furniture on the broad terrace projecting from the building in the park, while tfie contents of the extensive library, the very many costly pictures, articles of vertu, &c., were taken from the place in safety to the residence of Lord F. Cavendish, M. P., and Mr. Russell Sturgis, and elsewhere. The police took an active part in the removal of the property, and the Countess, atter returning home, was indefatigable in her exertions. When the flames penetrated the roof the reflection illuminated the park, where the number of spectators was very great, and by this time the quantity of water thrown in the place w as large. Fears w ere entertained of the fire spreading to the offices of the Metropolitan Board of Works, the Chairman of which was in attendance. When the roof, together with the dome in the centre of the building fell in, the floor underneath became seriously attacked by the flames. The firemen, however continued to work in an admirable manner, and torrents of water began to pour through every room in the place, to guard against the damaging effects of which Messrs. Holmes, Cooper and Prickett, and a body of the London Salvage Corps, were doing good work underneath. The third floor ultimately gave way, coupled with which the “ cutting away ” of the firemen to ascertain the presence of fire underneath rendered the task a dangerous one. During the progress of the fire Lord Dunmore, Lord Elphinstone, Lord Ripon, Lord Dudley, Sir Matthew White Ridley, and the Duke of Sutherland visited the burning mansions, and repeated inquiries were sent from the German Embassy, where the Crown Prince and Princess were dining with Count Munster. By 9.30 o’clock the danger was over, but the two top floors may be said to be destroyed, and the remainder of the extensive mansion is left in a very unsound condition, owing to the effect of the water. The cause of the calamity has not been explained, but it is supposed to have been occasioned by a fire that had been left in the laundry, with no one to look after it. It is belitvcd that the house was insured. It is but rare that such a large body of the members of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade are summoned as in this instance, and additional hose and fuel were frequently requested from the new headquarters in Southwark Bridge Road. At 11 o’clock last night all the firemen had not left the residence, and large crowds were stili assembled in Pall Mall and St. James’s Park.