House Fires 1887 - 1900


1887

A fire occured at Beaconsfield on Wednesday last by which the residence of Mr. W. H. Dale was reduced to ashes. Nothing was saved except one box, his loss being estimated at about £600. We believe that Mr. Dale's place was insured for £200 which will not half cover his loss.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Wed 28 Sep 1887, p2
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70029515


1890 - Beaconsfield Hotel - 1st fire

The Beaconsfield hotel, situate at Beaconsfield, was destroyed by fire at 3 o'clock on Wednesday morning, and with it a landmark in the history of the remarkable Moss will case.
The hotel, which was the property of Mrs. Somner, was a wooden building, and when once the flames got a hold there was no stopping them.
Weekly Times, Sat 1 Mar 1890, p15
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221098574

THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE DISCOVERED.
On the 25th ult the Beaconsfield Hotel, a large building containing about 60 rooms, and valued at £6,000, was totally destroyed by fire. Additional interest was given to the occurrence by the fact that Mrs. Somner, who figured as defendant in the notorious Moss will case, was formerly  proprietress of the establishment. She disposed of it about two years ago to Mr Wilckens, the owner at the time when the place was destroyed. He had a mortgage on it, which fell due on June 17 of the present year, and after the fire took place he asked that a full and searching inquiry should be made into the cause of the conflagration. Superintendent Montford, who is in charge of the district in which the building was situated, applied to the detective office for the assistance of an  experienced detective, and Detective Burvett was told off to make inquiries into the case.
In company with Constable Thompson he examined all the persons who first noticed the outbreak, and they discovered beyond all question that it originated in what was known as the meat-room, which was on the basement. From there the flames spread rapidly to the bar, and once obtaining hold there, became uncontrollable, and the whole place was soon enveloped in flames. The meat room could be entered from the outside of the building, and the suspicion arose that some tramp while making this room his resting place for the night, might possibly have accidentally set fire to the place. A suspicious looking character of the tramp species was noticed knocking about the locality, and he was yesterday arrested on a charge of vagrancy by Constable Thompson, After his arrest be admitted that he had been in the Beaconsfield Hotel on the night of the fire, and that it had been caused by his carelessness. The matter will be more thoroughly investigated today, and the truth of the man's statement rigidly tested.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Thu 6 Mar 1890, p9
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8592933

THE FIRE AT THE BEACONSFIELD HOTEL. THE CAUSE DISCOVERED.
The conclusion of the cause celebre in which the Moss family sought successfully to upset the will leaving the whole of the paternal estate to Mrs. Somner was marked, singularly enough, by the total destruction of one of the most prominent landmarks in the case. Early on the morning of the 26th ult., the Beaconsfield Hotel, which had formerly been the property of Mrs. Somner, was burnt to the ground. The building, which contained over 60 rooms, was sold by Mrs. Somner about two years ago to Mr. Wilckens, the price paid for the property being £6500. Thus the events connected with Mrs. Somner's tenure of the establishment had long passed out of knowledge until the building was brought prominently under public notice by the protracted legal contest between the former licensee and the Moss family. The flames were discovered between 2 and 3 a.m. by a laundress named Jordan, and she alarmed the landlord, who found that the fire was traceable to a room beneath the bar, used for keeping meat, and accessible from the outside. He managed to extinguish the flames in the meat room, but immediately afterwards a second and more formidable outbreak occurred in the bar above, the floor of which had been recently saturated with whisky by the breakage of a spirit cask, the result being the complete destruction of the building. So suspicious were all the surroundings of the case that the detective police were requisitioned, and Detective Bunrett at once commenced an exhaustive inquiry, in which he was ably assisted by Constable Thompson, the officer in charge of the local police station.
At an early period of the investigation the officers were able to decide that the fire had been the work of an incendiary, and suspicion fell upon a tramp who was found to have been seen in the hotel yard on the night before the fire. The man was traced, and placed under surveillance by Constable Thompson, Detective Burvett having been called away to Geelong.
Finally it was decided to arrest the suspect on a charge of vagrancy, and last night information was received in Melbourne to the effect that the man had confessed to having set the hotel on fire. It is supposed that he strayed upon the premises to pass the night under shelter, and that in the search for a sleeping place he found his way into the meat room, and accidentally set it on fire.
The Age, Thu 6 Mar 1890, p5
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197013374


 1893 - Beaconsfield Hotel - 2nd fire

DESTRUCTION OF BEACONSFIELD HOTEL.
BEACONSFIELD, Tuesday. Early this morning a fire broke oat in the Beaconsfield Hotel, the property of Messrs. Wakeham Bros., and resulted in its complete destruction. The property was insured.
The Age, Wed 31 May 1893, p5
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193420888

FIRE AT UPPER BEACONSFIELD. THE PRINCIPAL HOTEL DESTROYED.
UPPER BEACONSFIELD, TUESDAY. The Beaconsfield-house Hotel (locally known as "the Big House") was destroyed by fire early this morning. About half-past 1 a.m. one of the visitors was aroused by what he thought to be the sound of heavy rain on the iron roof. However the smell of smoke soon convinced him of his error. By this time the flames had got a firm hold of the building mainly of wood, and it was with difficulty that the inmates, several of whom were ladies, could be rescued from their perilous situation. As it was they were compelled to escape in their nightdresses.
Fortunately, there are no casualties, there only being a few visitors.
This hotel has been very unfortunate. About two years ago the former house, a large rambling wooden structure, was burned under similar circumstances, the origin being traced to the carelessness of some tramp in an adjoining  outbuilding. The place was rebuilt the front portion being erected of brick and cement. Six months ago the stables were burned, with several carriages.
On this occasion the fire has completely gutted the building, nothing but the brick walls in front and a wooden verandah in the rear being left standing, apart from the hearths and chimneys.
The building and land were owned by Mr Phillips, solicitor, of Melbourne, and leased for five years (about a year of which has expired) to Mr J R Wakeham, who, with the assistance ot his wife and two brothers, was carrying on the business. The building is insured, but in what office is unknown to the lessee. Mr Wakeham's furniture, some valuable pictures, and the whole of his stock were uninsured, and he will therefore be a loser by the fire. At present the origin of the fire is involved in mystery. All that is known is that the conflagration must have commenced somewhere in the direction of the kitchen.
The Argus, Wed 31 May 1893, p5
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8557915

Our Beaconsfield correspondent sends the following by Tuesday night's mail:
The Beaconsfield House hotel was completely destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning. The fire was first discovered by one of the visitors, about 1.20 in the morning; the alarm being given, all the inmates managed to escape, but with the loss of a good deal of their clothing. Mr. Wakeham is a severe loser, his stock and furniture being uninsured. The  building was insured by the owner, Mr. Phillips, solicitor of Melbourne, but the lessee does not know in what office. The news of this disaster reached me too late to give you any but the most meagre particulars.
The scene is that of a complete wreck, only the front walls, which are of brick, and the back verandah remaining standing. The origin of the fire is at present unknown; probably having started in the kitchen, from the direction in which it was coming at the time of discovery. The lady inmates are being accommodated by Mrs. Adams, and with the  remainder of the few visitors, will depart for town this (Tuesday) evening.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Wed 31 May 1893, p2
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70015554


UPPER BEACONSFIELD. BY TODEA AFRICANA
"Like a house a-fire," is a simile for celerity which is more applicable in the the bush than even in the city. Fire is a bad enough matter. there, where the edifices are of brick and stone and the water is abundant and at high pressure, but where the walls are of weather-board and water none too plentiful, is often entirely wanting, he is a tyrant of the most blood-thirsty description. In such a guise did he show himself on the heights of Beaconsfield in the small hours of Tuesday, the 30th instant, when the name of our village was justified by such a beacon as has rarely blazed from hilltop, here or elsewhere. We are sober minded country folk (with festive interludes), and altho' the curfew custom does not hold sway hereabouts still mid-night with its myriad eyes sees all, but a few (I fear a very few) sad students, snugly tucked in bed. This, whilst speaking volumes for the orderly habits of the worthy yeomen hereabouts, sufficiently explains why not a soul, save the actors in this sad transformation scene had the solemn satisfaction of seeing this formidable conflagration in all its gruesome glory. I use the word "satisfaction" advisedly, and without shadow of any intent to imply that Beaconsfield could be so base as to take pleasure in another's discomfiture, but simply taking note: Firstly, of that fatal fascination which fire undoubtedly has for poor fallen human nature whether this has any connection with an unconscious foreboding of' the inflammatory future, glowing accounts of which were so freely depicted by the parsons of old, for the benefit of our forefathers (pictures which both priest and presbyter have learnt to look upon of as far too glaring to be presented with any he of their reformation, to their more fastidious and less faithful descendents), is a matter which may be left to more fitting opportunity to discuss secondly, that distractions in the county are so few and far between that anythsing calculated to relieve the monotony of whatsoever nature it may be, is well ! if not welcomed—received with a cheerful resignation (of course if no misfortune to ourselves !), and then, witn both a fire of the first importance and distraction in the highest degree simultaneously take place, to think that we were "not in it" is, it must be admitted, galling—very ! Not to speak of the chagrin of the choice few who look upon themselves as heaven-born firemen, and on such occasions are ever ready to lend a hand. These are they who may be seen (where they are suffered) carefully carrying a feather-bed out of the front door, and salvaging a cheffoniere by shoving it out of a window. Short and sharp was the work of destruction as carried out by the fire fiend between the time (about 1.30 a.m.), when smoke was first smelt by one of the visitors, and 4 o'clock ; by which time a pretty clean sweep had been made of the premises of which Mr. Wakeham was but a few brief hours ago the landlord. Of course all efforts to save the burning building were soon recognised as labor thrown away, and, once the occupants were safe, all energy was concentrated on saving a few of the most precious articles belonging to the erstwhile inmates. Some attempt was made to save the front premises which were partly built of brick and cement, and one of the 400-gal. iron tanks bears evidence of the manly efforts which were put forth in this direction by the big gash in its side, made by means of an axe, when the contributions of the precious fluid made by the tap proved all too feebly insufficient. All was in vain, however. The few bucketsful of water which the strongest arms could hurl upon the furious flames only seemed to make them burn more fiercely; at any rate, the omnivorous could not be stayed. At length the bar—newly decorated, and containing a  considerable stock—was attacked in its turn, and the complete annihilation which followed of what unregenerate human nature would denominate good liquor, must have been enough to satisfy the most rabid prohibitionist. And yet there was a Mark Tapley note struck by the lessee of the late structure when, commiserated on this dismal disaster (for so far as he was concerned it was a total loss), he replied, "Well, do you know, we were congratulating ourselves on having escaped with our lives" And true, the escape was a very "narrow shave," and the inmates were not justified in congratulating themselves on saving much besides, for most, of the visitors had to get a more or less complete outfit lent them, or they could not have departed by the evening train to town. I understand that, Messrs Lawrence and Adams, to whom a portion of the furniture belongs, were insured in the Derwent and Tamar offfice, but not to the full extent. Mr. Phillips, the proprietor of house and land, is covered to the extent of £900 (which is far from filling the value of the late buildings) in the Colonial Mutual. It is expected that not many months will elapse before a new building is erected, in which, let us hope, the enterprising lessee may have better fortune than has been his fate in the old.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Wed 7 Jun 1893, p2
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70015571


UPPER BEACONSFIELD, MONDAY.--Woodgrange, the residence of Mrs. Tyson, was this afternoon completely destroyed by a fire, wihich is supposed to have originated in the kitchen during the temporary absence of the inmates. There was only time to save a portion of the furniture, which together with the building, was insured in the Guardian insurance office.
The Argus, Tue 17 Oct 1893, p6
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8702129

UPPER BEACONSFIELD. By Todea Africana
Some excitement was caused in Upper Beaconsfield on Monday afternoon about 1 o'clock, when it was discovered that the residence of Mrs. Tyson, "Wood-grange," was on fire. "The neighbors were soon on the spot, but from the first it was seen that no hope could be entertained of saving any part of the building. Everyones' energies were therefore concentrated on rescuing as much of the furniture as possible. So rapidly did the flames spread, however, that not many articles could be salvaged, and in about half an hour from the first alarm being given, the place was completely gutted. There is little doubt that the conflagration had its origin in the kitchen. Mrs Tyson and her grand-daughter were in the garden when the latter's attention was suddenly arrested by an extraordinary amount of smoke and flame issuing from the neighborhood of of the kitchen chimney. The two at once hurried back to the house, but by the time they arrived, access to that part of the house was barred by the fierceness of the flames issuing therefrom.
Mr. Noble, whose house is situate on the opposite side of the road, was soon upon the spot to render any assistance that might be in his power. However, it was at once evident that all that could be done was to rescue some portion of the furniture and a few valuables, from the other rooms. With the ready aid of his four sons and some of the other neighbors, who had already been attracted to the spot by the smoke and flames, a partial clearance was soon effected; but, such was the rapidity of the fire-fiends advance, that even the wearing apparel of the inmates (excepting such as they actually wore) had, for the most part, to be abandoned to his rapacious maw. As one stood helplessly by, watching the giant tongues of flame lapping up the walls of the building as eagerly as a dog would a saucer of milk on a summer's day, it was pitiful to see the poor young girl trying to console her grandparent for the loss of their little home, whilst herself struggling to restrain the unbidden tear. And yet, amidst all the excitement, one could not avoid being amused at the touch of comedy presented by the eager question of the sturdy little boy of six, " Grandma ! have yen saved my overcoat ? there's a penny in the pocket !" and again shortly, "'Grandma ! have you saved the chaff for Peter (the goat) ?" And yet, on consideration, these matters would naturally be as important to this young hopeful, as her diamonds to the lady of fashion, or his haystacks to the farmer. But there is not much time for indulging in such cogitations; for, although the building is lost beyond recall, there are others across the half chain road which the all devouring element will quickly appropriate given the slightest opportunity. We are soon on the alert therefore, ready to dash a bucket of water over any spot of the neighboring house or outbuildings which may ignite by the flying sparks which the westerly wind is carrying across the road. It was fortunate that such readiness was displayed, as by this means further devastation was certainly prevented on more than one occasion. Anxious were the glances that were cast up at the handsome pine trees adjoining "The Steyne" (Mr. Noble's residence), as they visibly shrink and shrivel under the deadly breath of the scorching sirocco. Thankful are we now for the heavy rains, which it has pleased Providence to send of late, and which now stand us in such good stead ; for had such a fire followed on a prolonged period of drought, good-bye to the pines and the contiguous property. To one whose acquaintance with the destructive element has previously been confined to the fires of a great-city, acoompanied by the furious rush of the fire brigade with the shouts of their jehus, the roar and crash of tailing beams and masonry, the hissing of the water as it descends in streams on red-hut bricks and iron, and the din and confusion generally. To such, I say, there seems something unreal, something stage-like, to be compelled to stand by and let things take their course; to watch the woodwork quickly consuming in the bright flames, and then falling, almost without a sound, its substance gone, a mass of charcoal. So bit by bit the building goes; a little smoke forces its way between the weatherboards, then is visible an orange streak, a hundred streaks, and then the bare uprights are left amidst the bright glare, to follow a few moments after. The galvanised iron roofing comes down like so many sheets of cardboard, and the galvanised iron tanks, filled now with boiling water, are the only objects which cause any material sense of excitement to the uninvolved onlooker, as they descend with something like a crash, precipitating a huge volume of scalding hissing fluid over the incandescent embers of what was but half an hour agone a dwelling place-a home. And thus in a few brief moments disappears, like the baseless fabric of a vision, that about which a thousand memories and old associations may have twined themselves, and leaves us ashes.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Wed 18 Oct 1893, p3
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70016118


1894

BERWICK, SATURDAY.
A large wooden building at Lower Beaconsfield containing 15 rooms which for some years was used as a Government inebriate asylum, was completely destroyed by fire at about 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Latterly it has been used as a private residence but at the time of the fire was unoccupied, and the owner, Mr. G. Craik, of Upper Beaconsfield was having the place cleaned up. It is supposed that while those engaged in the work were in another part of the place a log must have rolled out of the fireplace and ignited the floor. The building was insured in the Southern Insurance Company but the amount could not be ascertained.
The Argus , Mon 3 Sep 1894, p6
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8700083


House Fires 1900 - 1920


1909 - Dr L.L. Smith's Country House Burnt

FIRES IN THE COUNTRY.
BERWICK. Wednesday.-A fire occurred this afternoon, about half-past 3, at Lower Beaconsfield, when the residence of Dr. L.L. Smith was completely destroyed, as well as a quantity of furniture stored in the house. The man in charge was carting in hay, and everything was right when he was home for dinner, but shortly after he got back to work the house was seen to be in flames. Owing to the high wind and scarcity of water, nothing could be saved. As far as can be ascertained, the house only was insured.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Thu 16 Dec 1909, p8
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10754604

The residence of Dr. L. L. Smith at Beaconsfield, known as "Kananga" was destroyed by fire on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Smith, jun., was about the place at the time, but is unable to account for the fire. The whole of the buildings and contents were destroyed.
The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), Fri 17 Dec 1909, p10
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196038706

The residence of Dr. L. L. Smith, at Beaconsfield was destroyed by fire on December 15. Mr Smith, jun., was about the place at the time, but is unable to account for the fire. The whole of the buildings and contents were destroyed.
Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), Sat 25 Dec 1909, p24
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221826351


1910

FIRES IN THE COUNTRY.
BEACONSFIELD UPPER, Thursday.—On Saturday last a lath and plaster house, known as Lawes's, the property of Mr. Whiting, solicitor, of Melbourne, was destroyed by fire. A person on the adjoining property saw smoke rising at about 7 in the morning, but thought that it was merely the bush burning. The main part of the building was burnt to the ground, but another portion, consisting of three rooms, was left intact. The property is insured.
The Argus, Fri 11 Mar 1910, p9
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10840780


FIRES IN THE COUNTRY.
BEACONSFIELD UPPER, Thursday. — The fine villa Windermere (Woonda Mia) which has just been built for Dr Elliott Drake at Upper Beaconsfield, narrowly escaped destruction by fire on Monday.
The red-pine panellings inside the room were being dressed with beeswax when the flame from a heater set fire to the wax. The flames spread to the mantel and a wardrobe which had received a coat of oil, and they began to burn fiercely. A number of men were still at work on the building, and they rushed to the scene, and beat out the burning wood with wet sacks. It was probably the lining of fibro-cement that saved the building.
The Argus, Fri 8 Jul 1910, p10

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10442818


1911

FLIGHTS FROM FIRE. ESCAPES BY NIGHT. DRESSING IN THE BUSH.
BEACONSFIELD UPPER. Saturday.—On Friday night a cottage, owned by Mrs Larkin, and built on the Quamby settlement at Beaconsfield Upper, was destroyed by fire. Mr Barnett, a son-in-law, and two youths were staying at the cottage, and retired to bed early. When aroused at half past 8 o'clock the fire had such a hold that the occupants had just time to snatch up their clothes and escape. They dressed in the bush.
The Argus, Mon 5 Jun 1911, p6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10907488


1912

FIRES IN THE COUNTRY.
BEACONSFIELD UPPER. Wednesday. A weatherboard cottage, the residence of the late Duncan Cameron, of Beaconsfield, was destroyed by fire at about 1 o'clock this morning. The cause of the fire is unknown.
The Argus, Sat 17 Feb 1912, p18

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11654176 


1913

FIRES.
BEACONSFIELD. — On Sunday evening Mr. Atkins' house, about three miles from Upper Beaconsfield, was completely destroyed by fire. Mr. and Mrs. Atkins were only absent from the house for half an hour when flames were seen issuing through the roof. The building was insured, but the furniture was not insured. Mr. Atkins's loss is estimated at £500.
The Age, Wed 18 Jun 1913, p10

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199434166


1915

A small week-end cottage at Quamby, Beaconsfield, owned by Mr Brown, was totally destroyed by fire during the early hours of Friday morning. It is supposed that the fire was caused by some burning embers rolling out of the fire-place.
Berwick Shire News and Pakenham and Cranbourne Gazette, Wed 30 Jun 1915, p2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92090433


1916

Mr Fairbairn, of Upper Beaconsfield [this house was probably in Pakenham Upper], had a serious fire, the whole house and contents being destroyed. The fire was probably started by sparks, from a copper. At the time of the outbreak Mr Fairbairn was away with fruit, and only one man was on the place, he being in the packing shed. When one of the little children drew his attention to the fire it was too late to do anything of moment, and he was only able to save the sewing machine. All personal effects were lost, including jewellery and money. The house was an old but valuable one, being one of the most picturesque and largest in the district.
The loss is considerably over L700, and is only partially covered by insurance. From the outbreak of the fire to the time when only a portion of a chimney was left standing did not exceed half an hour.
Dandenong Advertiser and Cranbourne, Berwick and Oakleigh Advocate, Thu 23 Mar 1916, p2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88661965


1917 - Shop fire in Beaconsfield

BEACONSFIELD. — Shop premises opposite the railway station, formerly used by Messrs. G. W. Martin and Co., were destroyed by fire early on Sunday morning. The business had recently been sold to Mr. M'Laren, who was about to take it over. There were no signs of fire at midnight, but by the morning the building and stock had been destroyed. A fresh stock of grocery and drapery had just been put into the shop. Incendiarism is suspected. Police and black trackers were at work early on Monday morning.
The Age, Tue 29 May 1917, p6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154984507


At 2 o'clock on Sunday morning a fire broke out on the premises of Cr. Geo. W. Martin, Beaconsfield, occupied as a store by Mr McLaren, who had just recently gone into them. The whole of his new stock and the buildings were entirely destroyed. Mr McLaren is a heavy loser, as his stock is uninsured ; the buildings will probably be insured. Suspecting incendiarism, Mr McLaren rang up the black trackers, but a diligent search failed to elucidate the mystery or afford a clue to the origin of the fire. Mr McLaren did not live on the premises.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Thu 31 May 1917, p3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66192086


1918 - Pine Grove Hotel destroyed

Upper Beaconsfield.
On Wednesday afternoon, 13th inst, the Pine Grove hotel, at Upper Beaconsfield, only recently acquired by Mr F. Novello, was destroyed by fire. Mrs Novello, who was alone in the bar, noticed smoke coming from the back, and on rushing out she was met by the flames, which, fanned by the heavy gusts of wind, soon caught the whole building. Inside three quarters of an hour the place was destroyed.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Thu 21 Feb 1918, p3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66193562


The Pine Grove hotel, at Beaconsfield Upper, was destroyed by fire last week. The hotel, which was situated about a mile out of the township, on the road leading from Upper Beaconsfield to Emerald, was for some years itn the occupation of Mr J. C. Jensen, but changed hands recently, the new proprietor being Mr F. Novello. At the time of the outbreak of fire Mrs Novello was in the bar. Noticing smoke coming from the back of the place she ran out, and discovered the place in flames. There was a strong breeze blowing at the time and the building, which was a wooden one, was soon destroyed.
Pakenham Gazette and Berwick Shire News, Fri 22 Feb 1918, p2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92156029


1918 - Fire at Langower - Captain Rushall's property

BEACONSFIELD UPPER.-Langower, the country residence of Captain Rushall, was burned to the ground on Friday morning. The fire broke out in the washhouse, at the back of the building, at about a quarter to 6 in the morning.
Considerable improvements had recently been made to the property and valuable heirlooms were destroyed. The origin of the fire is unknown.
The Argus, Tue 3 Sep 1918, p6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1410733

Upper Beaconsfield.
On Friday morning "Langower," the residence of Captain Rushall, caught fire. Mrs Gordon, who is in charge, was awakened by the noise, and called for assistance. Only the piano, which had recently been put into the house, could be saved.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, Thu 5 Sep 1918, p3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66194650

Beaconsfield Upper.
A fire occurred at Upper Beaconsfield on Friday morning last, by which "Langower," the residence of Captain Rushall, was destroyed. During the war period several parties of returned soldiers have been entertained at this residence, the grounds being very tastefully laid out. The loss will be a severe one to Captain Rushall.
Pakenham Gazette and Berwick Shire News, Fri 6 Sep 1918, p3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92154401

 

House Fires 1921 -


BEACONSFIELD UPPER -A fire occurred on Saturday night at Mr Nathan's store. When the outbreak was discovered Mr Nathan, with some help extinguished the flames with buckets of water.
The Argus, Thu 9 Jul 1925, p16
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2136982

FIRE AT BEACONSFIELD.
BEACONSFIELD, Sunday.—A fire destroyed a four-roomed dwelling on Payne's-road, Beaconsfield, on Saturday evening.
The occupants were in bed when the fire broke out, and had barely time in which to escape from the burning house.
The Age, Mon 1 Jul 1929, p7
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204104415

Mr. J. G. Hautot, who some time ago removed from Berwick to Beaconsfield, sustained a serious loss last week by a fire, which completely destroyed his furniture and the house in which he lived. The house was insured.
The Dandenong Journal, Thu 26 Apr 1928, p4
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200675901

BEACONSFIELD UPPER.
Fire destroyed a house owned by Mr. Funnell. Mrs. Briggs, to whom the house was let, was in Melbourne, and Mr. Briggs had left the house about half an hour when the flames were noticed. In a short time the building had been burnt to the ground. The furniture, which belonged to Mrs. Briggs, was destroyed. Owing to heavy rain falling at the time some of the outbuildings were saved. It is understood that both the house and furniture were covered by insurance.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Tue 10 Jun 1930, p14
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4092547

UPPER BEACONSFIELD.
On Friday evening, at Upper Beaconsfield, a seven-roomed house was totally destroyed by fire. The property was owned by Mr. F. Funnell, and was leased to Roy Briggs. The house was only partly insured, and Mr. Funnell will be a very heavy loser. Mr. Briggs will also be a loser, as not one article, was saved.
Mrs. Briggs was away in Melbourne when the property was destroyed. The cause of the outbreak is unknown. First-constable Walters, of
Berwick, is making enquiries.
The Dandenong Journal (Vic. : 1927 - 1954), Thu 12 Jun 1930, p4
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201080028

UPPER BEACONSFIELD HOUSE BURNT
UPPER BEACONSFIELD, Tuesday. — Fire last night destroyed a house and stables belonging to Mrs C. Brown. This is the third fire in Upper
Beaconsfield within three weeks.
The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), Tue 15 Jul 1930, p8
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article242816002

 FIRE AT BEACONSFIELD.
At about 1.55 a.m., on Monday morning, the Berwick township was awakened, by the ringing of the fire bell. Smait work by members, of the local Fire Brigade enabled the engine and a full complement of firemen to leave before two o’clock. They proceeded to the home of Mr. Len. Yates, on the Upper Beaconsfield road, only to find the four-roomed W.B. house on the verge of collapse. With the fire pump they extinguished the flames by pumping water from an Underground well. The house and contents were completely destroyed.
Mrs. Yates was alone in the house at the time of the outbreak, which was caused by a dog knocking over a table on which a lighted kerosene lamp was burning. The property is owned by a Mrs. Morgan, who lives in Elwood.
The Dandenong Journal (Vic. : 1927 - 1954), Thu 14 Feb 1935, p4
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article213963580