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The Whisky Fire in Dublin

Source: The Illustrated London News, June 26, 1875, p.615

An extraordinary scene took place at a great fire in Dublin on Saturday night. The fire was at Reid's malt-house and Malone's bonded warehouse, in the Liberties. The former had above 2000 worth of malt in it, and the latter, which immediately adjoins it, had 1800 puncheons of whisky, the property of various distillers, and worth 54,000. The burning liquor, running down Ardee-street, Chamber-street, Cork-street, and Mill-street, spread the flames with great rapidity. In two hours all the houses on one side of Mill-street and several in Chamber-street were destroyed. The fire brigade could not use their engines lest the water should carry the flames through the city, but they tore up the pavement and used sand and manure carried from a depot in a neighbouring street. A force of military, under Colonel Fellowes, was present, and rendered all the help they could, but all that could be done was to isolate the fire. Among the places destroyed was a large tannery in Mill-street. Crowds of people assembled, and took off their hats and boots to collect the whisky, which ran in streams along the streets. Four persons have died in the hospital from the effects of drinking the whisky, which was burning hot as it flowed. Two corn-porters, named Healy and M'Nulty, were found in a lane off Cork-street, lying insensible, with their boots off, which they had evidently used to collect the liquor. There are many other persons in the hospital who are suffering from the same cause. Two boys are reported to be dying, and it is feared that other deaths will follow. It has been ascertained that the fire originated in the bonded spirit stores of Mr. Lawrence Malone, in which there were 5000 barrels of whisky and other spirituous liquor. A subscription has been opened to relieve the distress of families whose dwellings and furniture were destroyed by this fire. A meeting for this purpose was held on Monday, by the Lord Mayor of Dublin's invitation, and several hundred pounds were at once subscribed.