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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:13 pm 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
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Location: Staffordshire
The Times
Tuesday December 27 1927

A Burnley Church Burned Down

Fire on Christmas Night
(From Our Correspondent)
Burnley Dec. 26

St. Matthew's Church, one of the finest buildings in Burnley, was destroyed by fire on Christmas night, and damage estimated at over £20,000 was done. The building was insured, but not to the full extent, and to replace the church on the old basis will prove very expensive.
Everything was apparently all right late on Sunday afternoon when the verger, Mr. John Bingham, left the building, but he had been at home for only ten minutes when he was informed that the church was on fire. He at once returned and made two efforts to enter the church to save the valuable ornaments. At his second attempt he was overcome by smoke and collapsed, and was rescued by Police-inspector Roberts. An entry was afterwards forced into the vestry, and the registers and plate were removed. The vestry was the only portion of the building which was not destroyed, and this was due to the fact that it was built alongside the church instead of being a part of it.
It is not known how the fire originated, but the vicar, the Rev. F. Jones, expressed the belief that it started somewhere near the organ. The fire was first noticed in that part of the church, and it spread with great rapidity. The seating accomodation, which was of pitch-pine, was soon alight. There was a strong wind which aided the fire and, as the church is situated on a high hill, the whole town was quickly lit up.
The firemen had to work under great difficulties owing to the frost, but it was impossible to save the church because of the hold that the fire had obtained before its discovery and of the rapidity with which it spread. It was not long before the roof fell in, carrying with it the interior walls. All the stained glass windows and the valuable church ornaments were destroyed. The exterior walls were so badly damaged that they will have to be demolished.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 6:28 am 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 8051
Location: Staffordshire
Kris has submitted an image of the church following the fire.

http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Pho ... Church.htm

Thanks Kris

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