The Italian Opera-house (not the Acad6mie Royale) at Paris was
burnt down on Sunday night. There had been a performance that evening; and it was after the audience had withdrawn, and the theatre find been closed, that, about half-past twelve, the flames were seen by a fireman on duty, bursting forth from the musician's saloon, which was warmed by a stove and two hot tubes. The following details are com- municated by various correspondents of the London daily papers-
" The alarm was quickly given to the nearest posts of firemen and the guard.
houses, and the generale was immediately beaten through all the streets in that
quarter of the capital. It was a quarter past one before the firemen and troops could arrive. An immense crowd was already assembled on the Boulevards and round the theatre, but the good conduct of the troops of the line preserved order. The firemen, perceiving that their efforts were useless, as far as tl e
tlfieatre itself was concerned, turned their attention rather to the houses whit h form part of the same pile of building. The conflagration, however, spread With fearful rapidity. By half-past two the whole of the building was in tames, and part of the wall on the side of the Rue Favert had fallen in. On account of the severity of the frost, there was much difficulty in procuring water ; but the lines for passing buckets were formed with the greatest readi- ness, and well served, notwithstanding the intense cold that prevailed. The shops on the back fronting the Boulevards, and the houses on each side of the theatre, on the opposite sides of the narrow streets by which it is bounded, ran the greatest risk of catching fire ; and the inmates were busy in removing their ' effects from those that were most threatened. Immense clouds of smoke and burning particles shot up into the air, high above the roof of the building ; alai at one time the flames themselves were twenty or thirty feet in height above its walls. The wind was from the south ; and firemen were stationed on the roof of the French Opera, to guard against the shower of sparks that fell upon it, as well as on all the houses on that side of the Boulevards ; fortunately, however, ao fresh conflagration was caused by them.
" We are sorry to say that this melancholy fire has been attended with eon- liderable loss of life. M. Severini, acting manger of the Italian Opera, who resided in the building on the fourth story, endeavoured to escape by tying sheets and_ blankets together; but whether through agitation, or from spate
accident which it is now impossible to ascertain, fell into the street and was killed on the spot. Had this unfortunate gentleman remained a little longer in his apartment, he would have been preserved, since his two set rants and two children were safely brought down from thence. His body presented a shock- ing spectacle, and a large hole was perceptible in the side of his head."
" The escape of Al. Robert, the other manager, was most extraordinary. He was in bed in his chamber on the second floor, when the flames burst He immediately wrapped himself in his dressing-gown, gathered up the sheets and coverlid of his bed, and got on to the roof by one of the skylights. Hence, being hard pressed by the fire, he slid down to the parapet; and tying tl e sheets and counterpane together, and fixing one end firmly to the top, he got by these means within 60 feet of the ground ; where he remained suspended for some time, till at length, by an effort which under other circumstances lie never could have made, he gained the balcony, from which he reached the ground in safety, by a knotted rope which one of the firemen threw up to him." " The building itself is said to have been fully insured, and the furniture of the theatre was insured for 300,000, francs. " The Director of the Academie Royal de Musique has handsomely offered the use of that theatre on alternate nights to the Italian company. and the offer has been accepted."
" The losses sustained by several individuals are irreparable. Rossini had an apartment in the theatre ; and the whole of his musical library, which is said to be valued at upwards of 200,000 francs, is entirely destroyed, besides many rare and invaluable manuscripts. The library of M. Klaproth, the musical repertory of the director, and his furniture, have been saved. " A report that all the scores belonging to the theatre are lost is contradicted. A great quantity of old music has been thrown into the streets half.burnt ; but we are assured that the scones of the new pieces are all safe, having been placed in a part of the building which the flames did not reach." " It is apprehended that M. Lablache has sustained an immense and irre- parable loss by the death of M. Severini ; who acted as his agent in the invest- tnents of his savings, and in whose hands were all the documents by which was secured the accumulated property derived from twenty years' arduous exertions in his profession. If this be so, M. Lablache and his numerous family will be totally ruined."
In Paris all classes of persons " turn out" to aid in extinguishing a great fire.
" An immense body of soldiers were occupied in working the engines, in removing the goods of the inhabitants, in 'watching and protecting them, and in keeping open the passage for the water-carts; for alas! prejudice is yet tee strong to permit the supply of Paris with water by pipes. The north side of the Boulevard, the Rue Lepelletier, and the Rue bane, were made the depo. sitories of all that was removed from the threatened houses. In addition to the officers of the troops employed on this arduous duty, there were to be seen private citizens, National Guards, firemen, Municipal Guards, Setgens de Ville, And police-officers. " A number of well-dressed persons, who had just issued from Musard's ball, and the concert of M. Valentino, submitted, with the best possible grace, to join the chain and pass the buckets."