|A shocking fire in Raleigh-- On Tuesday
night, the 11th inst. at half past 11
o'clock, a fire broke out on the back part
of one of Mr. Win. Shaw's store houses on
Fayetteville street-- when first discovered,
the flame was rapidly ascending the outer
wall; and under it were seen the chunk and
shavings with which some unknown incendiary
had kindled the fatal blast. The timely
application of a small quantity of water
would have enabled the first who approached
the spot to extinguish the flame; but alas!
no water was to be had until the devouring
element so fair gained the ascendancy as to
bid defiance to the scanty means which the
Citizens could command-- and in less than
two hours a square and an half of the most
populous part of the city was wrapped in
"The atmosphere at first was almost perfectly still; the perceptible motion however was from south west-- the most favorable direction for the city. But in a very short time, the circumambient air, produced by the rarefaction, was so great as to form a strong current. Then indeed was the scene awfully appalling; and nothing but the prevailing direction of the common atmosphere, could have saved the west side of Fayetteville street. Oft did the threatening volume bend its insatiate flame westwardly, as if looking with wanton rapacity for further prey; and as oft did the south west breeze, as if directed by the finger of Heavenly pity, draw it back. The fire caught on several houses on the west side of the street, but it was immediately extinguished. In its course northwardly, it crossed a street 66 feet wide; and was arrested finally by blowing up Mr. Stuart's kitchen and by throwing water continually on his dwelling house, under cover of some trees. To the south were three contiguous tenements; these were devoured; and in this direction the fire terminated at Martin street. Thus Mr. Marshall's large corner house and all the houses thence up to Mr. Stuart's dwelling, were consumed.
But for the vigilance and activity of the owners, in running and saving their goods and furniture, the private loss would have been immense. At present it cannot be ascertained-- and now indeed we have to deplore the absolute ruin of a few worthy individuals; and the distressing loss of many others. We invoke the humanity and benevolence of such as were, by Divine Providence saved from the calamity, to remember their distressed brethren.
Large flakes of fire were wafted to a great distance-- many of them fell on the State house; and had it not been for the prudent forethought and active zeal of the state officers who have charge of the house, this costly building had also been consumed. But fortunately they had the presence of mind to procure a quantity of rope and a few property characters to mount the roof, who by tying the rope to the Cupola and their own bodies, were capable of running in every direction, and of extinguishing the fire as soon as it fell.
The great utility of trees in staying the fierce flame was apparent, and too much cannot be said in favor of cultivating trees in every town not only as a beautiful embellishment to the scenery but as a means of protection from fires
The following persons were also sufferers on Hargett street:
On the upper part of Fayetteville street the following persons in addition were sufferers:
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