30 MARCH 1861, Page 5

The perils of warfare appeal to the imagination, but peaceful

pur- suits also have their perils, and commerce, trade, and manufactures take a pretty heavy toll of human life. This is exemplified by col- lieries on a large scale, and it was conspicuously displayed at New- castle on Saturday in a smaller but still striking degree. On the premises of a gutta-percha manufacturer a quantity of this material was placed in a pan to be "reduced" by naphtha. The composition caught fire; an alarm was given, and the master, Mr. Grierson, con- trary to advice, attempted to take the flaming pan off the fire. Over- excited, lie spilled the fiery solution on the floor just at the door of a -cellar into which three young men had gone to fetch wet clothes for the purpose of extinguishing the flame. Two escaped, but one emerged" on fire, and although great efforts were made to put it ont, he was so burned that he died. In the mean time a door had been opened, the air carzied the flames up-stairs, and all the hands but one leaped into the street, getting down in safety. One man tried to -descend by the stairs and was burnt to death. Happily the volunteers were out at drill, and a strong body coming up at the double, formed round the premises and kept back the crowd, whereby the firemen were able to work and reduce the fire within moderate limits.