HC Deb 05 June 1888 vol 326 cc1167-8
MR. SEAGER HUNT (Marylebone, W.)

asked the hon. Member for the Knutsford Division of Cheshire, Whether there was undue delay in the arrival of fire-escapes at the premises of Messrs. Garrould (in the Edgware Road) on the morning of Wednesday, May 30; and, if so, will he be good enough to state the cause of the delay?

MR. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)

(for Mr. TATTON EGERTON) (Cheshire, Knutsford): In answer to the hon. Member's Question, I have to state that the fire in the Edgware Road on Wednesday morning broke out just after the hour when the men on night watch with the fire-escapes went off duty. The firemen in charge of the fire-escape at Connaught Place had just lowered it and secured it for the day, when they were informed by a police-constable where the fire was. They should immediately have turned back, and taken the escape to the fire; but it seems that they neglected to do so, and for their neglect they have been suspended by the chief officer. It does not appear that if they had taken the escape on immediately they could have saved any of the lives; but, nevertheless, it was their duty to take it. All the engines reached the fire without accident or delay, and the water supply was prompt and ample. The conduct of the men in charge of the fire-escape is being investigated by the chief officer; and I may add that the whole of the circumstances connected with the fire will be thoroughly inquired into at the next meeting of the Fire Brigade Committee.