The Rushden Echo, 16th June 1899, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Outbreak of Fire at Rushden
Between ten and eleven o’clock this morning, an outbreak of fire occurred at the shop of Mr. Charles Smith, chemist, High-street, Rushden. Some waste-paper and rubbish was being burnt in the furnace in the back cellar, and near the furnace was a heap of rubbish ready to be destroyed. By some means or other, this heap of paper, etc., became ignited. The cellar was filled with smoke, and as the fire could not be approached it was deemed advisable to call in the assistance of the Fire Brigade. P.S. Birrill and Firemen Seckington and Burgess, with ex-fireman Harry Knight, were soon in attendance with the hose-cart. The hose was attached to a hydrant in High-street, just opposite the shop, and carried through the passage to the cellar, where a stream of water was thrown on to the burning rubbish. The outbreak was soon extinguished, and the damage done was fortunately small, but if the fire had not been quickly discovered and prompt steps taken to put it out there is little doubt that there would have been a serious conflagration. The heat in the cellar when the firemen were able to enter it was intense, and the ceiling had got quite hot. Just above the cellar is Mr. Smith’s house, which is connected with the shop and if the fire had extended to the rooms above the consequences must have been disastrous.