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Fire in Wombwell Wood

August 1887

Barnsley Chronicle – Saturday 13 August 1887

Fire in Wombwell Wood.

On Sunday last a fire was discovered in Wombwell  Wood, which, had it not been seen at an early  stage, might have done very great damage. The  wood is strictly preserved by its owner, Mr. T. F.  C. V. Wentworth, of Wentworth Castle, Stainbro’,  and it was one of the keepers, Richard Brown, who  first saw smoke rising about 200 yards from Wombwell  Main Reservoir which is in the wood. This  was about ten o’clock in the morning.

Hurrying  to the place he found a fire burning amongst the  grass and underwood, and raising alarm an  attempt was made to extinguish the fire by carrying  water in buckets. It soon became evident that this  would of no avail, and messengers were dispatched  for assistance. The Womb well Main Fire Brigade  under Mr. Jos. Oxley, and the Womb well Brigade  under Mr. John Robinson, clerk to the Local Board,  were soon on the spot, and there were plenty of  miners and men employed about the mines ready  render assistance. Pumping began, and large  quantity of water was thrown on and about  the fire, which by about half-past seven  o’clock in the evening was extinguished.  There was a slight difficulty with regard to the  Wombwell engine, in consequence of there not being  horses handy, but it nevertheless got to the place  within an hour.

After the fire had been to all  appearance extinguished, it was deemed prudent to  keep the engines work in consequence of the very  dry condition of the turf and the general surroundings,  and men were left with the engine during the  entire night. Happily, however, there was  no further outbreak. About an acre of the  underwood was burnt, but the damage the  timber cannot as yet be estimated. Hundreds of  people assembled at the scene of the fire, and P.S.  Williams and P.C.’s Kilner and Harnwell did good  service in beeping back the crowd and otherwise.ea

The cause of the fire is unknown, but seems there  are footpaths near the reservoir, and the fire had  begun near one of the footpaths, and Mr. Wentworth’s  head keeper, Mr. E. Cherry, after examining  the place, came  to the conclusion that some passenger must have  thrown down a lighted match, and thus commenced  the conflagration.  .