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Frightful Calamity

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The Glasgow News give the following account of the recent burning of the mili at Ayr, Scotland, by which twentytwo young woinen perished : " Within the third story of the second block of biiildings f rom Fort street, the fatal spark was kindled. The operatives resumed work after breakfast as usual, and all went on smoothly till James Barr, a laborer in the worsted department, was alarmed by a " young lass " (as he describes her) exclaiming ia a state of excrement that there was a fire in the room. The girl had been workiug at a wool-teaser, and soon it was perceived that the wool had taken fire, apparently from friction. Barr immediately called Ma neighbors who gathered in large nunibers. Threo extincteurs kept in the establishment for emergencies of this kind were produced, and an effort made to subdue the flames, but without effect. No sooner was water poured on one corner than the fire spread to another, defying the utmost efforts of all present to keep it within bounds. Some one at an early period calied for a sheet with which to " smother" thu fire ; but with sueh alarming rapidity did it spread that any attempt in that direction would have been useless or worso than useless. In a few minutes thoso who had gathered round the spot where the fire originated were coinpelled to flee for their lives, caving portions of their clothing and all ;hey posseased in the mili behind. So ar all was right, in respect that no damage resulted to life, but the sequel of the event wliich had just been inaugurated was disastrous and appalling. In the garret overhead of the room described, 'ames Barr aged 50 years, and father of ,he man named above, was working with 25 young women under his charge, and .here the great loss of life took place, rames Barr, it is alleged, on hearing the creams in the flat beneath, and on being nformed that there wasa fire, made an endeavor to keep the cries of those who were apparently stricken beneath rom penetrating his own department and causing greater consternation than was necessary. He then ran downstairs, saw ;he imminent danger of the whole establishment, rushed up again ] and gave the alarm, but was ;oo late to effect an escape for ïimeelf or others as the staircases i vere all " ablaze," and the smoke and ire were such as no one. could pass lirough and live. A scen-e more easily magiiieU that described iollowed. The 'oung women rushed to the windows ind called for that aid which could not be afforded thern. They gesticuiated and screamed andsobbed in the presence of death, and implored those outside to save their lives. Meaiiwhile the fire spread rapidly, the buildings one by one were enveloped, the flames shot ligh in the air, and before long the spot where the helpless females had jeen vainly seeking for succor was reduced to r'uins, and those who ocenpied t were lost beyond hope of recall. Several most painful incidents are reported n connection with this event. The old man Barr was, before the firo obliterated everything, seen at one of the windows waving his hands apparently calling for rescue, and a largo number of the girls were holding by him in the last lingerng hope of having their lives spared. }ne young woman, named Oatherine ttcKinnon, jumped from the height of 'our stories and feil heavily on the jround beneath. She was taken up nsensible, placed on a mattress, and removed to tho Ayr Hospital. She was alive when thé hospital was reached, aut expired in a few minutes. The poor girl, who was 16 years of age, feil on her 'orehead. Her skull was fractured, her arm 'broken, and other injuries sus;ained, so that all the skill which could 3e brought to bear could not save her ife. Another young girl, named Simpson, residing in High street, careo to a window screaming. Her sister, who jappened to be beneath at tho raoment. called out, "Jump out, or you'll be killed," and the little girl instantly leaped over. The sister endeavored to catch her, but as the height from which the leap was taken was very great both came into violent contact and were thrown down. The sister escaped ïmhurt, a fact which is marvelous, but the vounf girl was a good deal bruised, it is Éeared seriously so. Her liair was burned with the flame, which just beEore her leap was devcraring all bef ore it. Those who had found an exit from the works now made the best of their s;ood fortuno and rau from danger, whilo the unfortunate persons lef t behind were at the mercy of the devouring element. Mothers appeaied on the scène in terror, asking f or their daughters ; brothers and sisters looked everywhere for their relatives, who, alas ! could not be saved. It was irnpossible to .say who were and who were not among the unfortunate victims till will on in the evening, when the fire had been subdued. Hoping against hope, parents expeoted that their cliildren might ri?1urn at" the usual hour, and waited with eager anxiety their appearance."


Old News
Michigan Argus