FIRES IN LONDON
A fire broke out in Shoe-lane, City, at 9.30 on Monday night, and soon resulted in the complete destruction of the six-floored warehouse of Messrs Walker and Hall, silversmiths, platers, and cutlers, whose premises extend to the Holborn-viaduct, and have a frontage in that thoroughfare. It is supposed that the fire was preceded by an explosion of gas. At the hour mentioned the entire lower portion of the warehouse enveloped in flames. The warehouse was filled with property of value, and one of the earliest efforts of members of the brigade assisted by the members of the London Salvage Corps under Captain Fox was to remove from danger stocks of silver plate from the floors which had so far been unattacked, and to pile these masses of glistening wealth in the narrow roadway. There was no chance of tho property being purloined, for there was in attendance a very strong force of the City police. Commander Wells, early apprised of the fire, hurried in evening dress from the Southward headquarters to the scene of the disaster in a hose-van. The chief officer, in a pitiless storm of rain, changed from dinner attire to the garb of a fireman, under the walls of the blazing building with the rapidity of a lightning artiste, and was drenched to the skin in the process. It was obvious from the first that the main building, belonging to Messrs Walker and Hall, was doomed; but under admirable direction, tho brigade succeeded in a measure In defeating extension. The warehouse of Messrs Walker and Hall has been completely gutted, and there is other serious damage to neighbouring structures.
Source: The Cardiff Times - 6th February 1897