HOW THEY DO IT IN LEEK, ENG.
A fire, accompanied by novel surroundings, occurred at Leek recently. Noon, Monday, February 18th, brought with it a call for the Leek Fire Brigade. Captain Wardle received a telegram that Mrs. Tell wright’s boathouse was on fire, and with commendable celerity the engine and brigade prepared for a journey to Rudyard Lake. Upon arriving on the border of the lake, below Horton Lodge, it was found that the well-appointed two-storied boat-house—luxuriously fitted as any boathouse—was well ablaze, and it was feared the engine would be of little use when it arrived. While these facts were being ascertained the brigade atop of the good old “ Firefly ” was forcing its way up steep gradients. Two horses, insufficiently sharpened, demanded the aid of the firemen at the sharp pinches of the road, and a halt was called when it was found necessary to cut through a snow-drift, five feet in depth. A good deal of labor, however, and not a little dogged perseverancelanded the engine at a point about fifty feet above the boathouse, which was blazing away merrily between the men and the frozen lake. Of course at such an altitude the engine was of no service. Running the engine about 300 yards in the direction of Cliff Park, it was found that if a sharp declivity of a few feet could be negotiated a decline made the edge of the lake near to the fire tolerably easy of access. By means of strong ropes, which very fortunately were included In the equipment of the engine, the fire-extinguishing machine was lowered by aid of the trees that are plentiful thereabouts, and after a period of exertion and many a seeming mishap tluit threatened to destroy the equilibrium and future usefulness of thu engine, a coign of vantage was gained that enabled efforts to bo made to arrest the rapid progress of the flames. When at length, about 1:30 o’clock, Captain Wardle and his capable brigade got to work, it was clear that all that could be done was to save the floor of the bouse, the roof having fallen in and the upper story being irremediably on fire. In attempting this the brigade were entirely successful, and when the return journey became necessary tire question was debated os to whether the frozen surface of the lake was not the readiest way home. Helped by u merry corps of skaters, who gleefully seized hold of the rope that was attached to the engine, and with a long puli and a strong pull and a pull altogether the engine was on its way Leek wards to an accompaniment of cracking of ice that served to hasten the novel team in the direction of terra Anna. Before reselling laud a halt was called, and the feat was immortalized by a camera, two good negatives being secured of an event unique in the history of the luke and of the Leek Fire Brigade. [Fireman, London.