Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page

John Meads 2018

Postscript to a Fire

Burton Latimer fire brigade

After the Coffee House fire in August 1909, Burton Latimer Parish Council was contacted by an agent representing the occupants of a neighbouring property who were claiming for damage done by the brigade by allowing a hose pipe to flood their bedroom while it was fighting the fire. The following article appeared in the Northampton Chronicle & Echo on 18th August 1909:

“Writ Sarkastic.” Burton Latimer Parish Councillors were amused, and probably a little indignant, at the tone of a letter sent to their Clerk by the agent of an insurance company (a Northampton gentleman), who had been applied to for a contribution towards the expenses incurred at a recent fire in the parish where property insured by the company was endangered. The agent wrote in the course of his letter:
“It is usual when firemen apprehend danger to adjoining property to warn the tenants of the proximity of the fire, and so enable them to remove their effects, and for the firemen to allow the water to play upon the walls, roofs, and outbuildings before deluging the interior. However, the conspicuous ability and originality of your Brigade was certainly worthy of a better cause – to insert the hose pipe and flood the bedroom (especially the bedding) is certainly unique to your district, and would be a pity for such efforts to go unrewarded. Seriously, I cannot under the circumstances recommend the company I have the honour to represent to subscribe any sum to the amount you name. On the contrary, in my opinion (and others in your own district) those who are responsible for this unnecessary damage should bear the cost.”

Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the Crime & Punishment Index