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Title edited 20:53 2/11/1916 (from More burnt records to More records burnt)
Which records were destroyed in this fire?
Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Saturday 24 January 1920
A.D.M.S. Offices Gutted
Military Records Destroyed
" At 2.27 a.m. on Wednesday a message was received at the Folkestone Fire Station that a fire had broken out at 19 Westbourne-gardens, in occupation of the Assistant Director of Medical Service (Shorncliffe Area). Responding to the call woth praiseworthy promptitude. the Fire Brigade, under the command of Captain H O Jones, was on the spot at 2.34 with the Dennis engine and escape, and at once proceeded to throw water on the flames. It was the upper part of the building which was first ablaze. At 2.40 a call was sent to the Fire station for more appliances, with the result that the Ford motor tender and the Kingston escape were at once despatched. The efforts of the Firemen, were devoted to localising the fire and in these they were successful, adjoining properties being saved from damage by fire. The outbreak was got under control by? 4.30 a.m., but not before the whole of the premises had been gutted and the contents (including military Records) destroyed. The damage is estimated at £3,510. The property is owned by Mr G King-Harlow, M.P. and is understood to be insured. The cause of the fire is unknown. There was no one premises, which were in good order when they were locked up overnight by the staff. The Brigade ceased serious work at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, but dealt with intermittent outbreaks that occurred amongst the debris during the day. Later the Brigade handed over the premises to a Military picquet. It is a coincedence that a similar outbreak occurred exactly three years ago to the day (on January 20, 1917) and almost at the same hour, at 33, Grimston-Avenue, which premises were then occupied, as in the present case, by the A.D.M.S., the fire also then, as now, breaking out in the upper part of the building. The Brigade, who worked splendidly, and were not hampered by a large crowd desire to express their thanks to the residents of 16, 18, and 20, Westbourne-gardens for a liberal supply of hot tea and coffee, etc, during the early hours of a cold morning. This thoughtfulness on the part of those who ministered to the Brigade's wants was much appreciated. "
Report on the 1917 fire British Newspaper Archive
Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Saturday 27 January 1917
Fire in Grimston Avenue
Early Morning Blaze Causes Extensive Damage
" In the early hours of Saturday morning last a somewhat serious fire took place at 33, Grimston-avenue occupied by the Military Authorities as offices for the A.D.M.S., for Shorncliffe and Dover districts. Shortly before 4 a.m., a sergeant sleeping on the premises was aroused by a crackling sound overhead. Realising that the upper part of the house was on fire, he at once aroused the other soldiers in the house, sent one to telephone for the Fire Brigade (which received the call at 3.59 a.m.) and with another took pails of water to the top floor. On opening the door of an attic, however, he found the room a furnace of flame and smoke, so was forced to retreat, wisely closing the door. A second message was telephoned to the Fire Station to say the outbreak was serious, but before the receipt of this the horsed reel had been turned out, and this was soon followed by the horsed . Just before the Brigade arrived, the flames burst through the roof in the front of the house, so the horsed escape was fixed up as a "water tower" and a strong stream of water poured into the fire. On inspection, however, the whole roof was found to be alight, back and front, and Chief Officer H O Jones called out more men, with the steamer and Kingston escape, on the arrival of which assistance the fire was also attacked from the rear. An attempt was made to gain access to the upper floors by means of a hook ladder, but this being found impracticable, a tree in the garden was made use of as a point of vantage, and soon after a hose was run up the stairs inside. Shortly after seven o'clock, the fire was well under control, and a portion of the Brigade, with the steamer and reel, was able to leave, but the flames were not entirely extinguished until after 8 a.m. Colonel Rennie , the A.D.M.S., was on the scene soon after the alarm, and supervised the removal by the firemen of a quantity of military property, which was handed over to soldiers outside and placed in adjoining houses. Practically the whole of the roof and attics were destroyed , with the contents of the top storey, while the floor of the attic in which the outbreak originated collapsed into the room below, some other floors being also rendered unsafe, owing to the combustion of the joints, which allowed burning debris to fall into several rooms on the middle storey and ignite articles of furniture and papers. The estimated amount of the damage to the building by the fire is about £750, in addiion to the damage to the contents of the premises, and that to the lower part of the houseby the water necessarily poured in. At one time it was feared that the next house would be involved, owing to the direction of the wind, and the apparently unsafe condition of a gable of No 33, but by the efforts of the Brigade this was averted. Chief Officer Jones wishes to thank the ladies of No 31 and 29 Grimston-avenue who kindly provided hot tea, etc., in the early hours of the morning for the firemen (who in their wet condition much appreciated the refreshment) and the police on duty. "
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