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Extract: 1 September 1879

Extract from The Carrier Pigeon 1 September 1879.

Fire at Haseley Rectory

A disastrous fire, happily attended with no loss of life, occurred at Haseley Rectory on the evening of Wednesday, August 27th.  The family were proceeding from the dining room to the drawing room, Canon Ellison carrying his reading lamp.  Having placed it on a little table near his favourite armchair, he pushed the armchair a little nearer the table, in doing so, he shook the table and the lamp being apparently top-heavy, was precipitated into the armchair!  In a moment all was in a blaze.  A general rush was made for the door!  Sauve qui peut? [Let him save himself who can.] No indeed, for soon, back come the fair forces bearing jugs of water, which being dashed on the blazing armchair, soon extinguished the flames, but not before the new chintz had been grievously burnt, as also a crewel worked chair-back.  Thus what might have been an awful catastrophe ended on the part of the young ones at least – in a hearty laugh.

Numerous were the feats of bravery and unexampled instances of coolness and presence of mind told by all, of themselves, but we cannot refrain from paying a hearty tribute to the extraordinary self-devotion exhibited by the mail part of the domestics.  On hearing that the drawing room was on fire he courageously seized a milk jug!!!!! Filled it with water and proceeded to the scene of action where his heroic efforts were put a stop to, by finding the fire already extinguished.  The housemaid also shewed presence of mind united with great economy.  She made a rush for a blanket and was bringing it down when she remembered it was one of the best ones, so dropped it and left the fire to its fate!!

Surely it is on occasions such as these that people’s peculiarities rise to the surface

“Little Buttercup”