1753 The Buckingham Street Fire

At the end of the summer, on September 1, 1753, the Royal Gazette (the only newspaper in circulation in Halifax at the time) described a house fire in a gruesome way. It was the earliest found structure fire that appeared in a newspaper in Halifax (adapted text):

Last Thursday morning, between two and three o'clock, a fire broke out in a dwelling house in Buckingham Street, next door to Mr. Cowey's the baker, which in a short time consumed both that and a barn adjoining. After the fire was pretty well extinguished, some persons, as they were removing the debris, discovered the body of a man which was burnt in a most terrible manner, his head was burnt to a coal, one hand and both feet burnt off, his bowels gushing out, and his whole body exceeding scorched, (a melancholy spectacle.) As there was little or no wind, the tide was very high, and it was exceedingly dry, the conditions were more favourable. Otherwise, a number of valuable dwelling houses, stores, etc., which stood contiguous, would have inevitably been destroyed.

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