31 AUGUST 1878, Page 3

A frightful fire occurred in Birmingham on Monday night, which

was fatal to four persons, none of whom need have perished if the crowd had shown more judgment and good-sense. The fire broke out on the premises of Mr. Denison, a confectioner, and the foolish thing which the crowd did was to pull duwn the shutters and break in the windows, and open the draft fully so as to fan the fire, and make it spread with far greater speed than it otherwise would. The place was very near New Street, where there are engines and a fire-escape, but none came for a very long time. In the meantime ladders were sent for, but none would reach the storey where Mr. and Mrs. Denison and their child were shrieking for help, and there was no material for lashing them together. Mr. Denison, urged by his wife, jumped at the longest ladder, and slid down some distance, when the rung gave way with him, and he fell through it to the ground. The fire-escape was still delayed, and when it came the sheet was wanting, and there was nothing for Mrs. Denison to jump into. The child was dropped into the arms of a man—Breslin—who had ascended the fire-escape, but in the descent he lost his grasp of the infant, who fell into the arms of a policeman, then to the ground, and was taken dying to the hospital, where it died. Mrs. Denison, half-burned, dropped from the window, and was taken up dead. And Mrs. Denison's sister and the servant also perished in the flames. The steam fire-engine could not be worked, and water was deficient. A more shocking domestic tragedy, and more fatal effects both from the ignorance of genuine sympathy, and from the negligence of ordinary precautions, have not been heard of for many a year.