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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers

Destructive Fire at Oak Park.

Co Carlow

Oak Park c.1890

The Carlow Sentinel. Saturday 1st March 1902.

During the past week the all-absorbing local topic has been the alarming and destructive fire at Oak Park House, the Carlow residence of the Right Hon. Henry Bruen, P.C., which within a few brief hours was reduced from the proportions of a lordly mansion to little better that a mass of ruin.

Destructive Fire at Oak Park.

Narrow Escape of Inmates - Great Loss of Property.

Seldom has it become our duty as journalists to record an event which has caused as much local interest, excitement, and sympathy as the fire which broke out at Oak Park House during the early morning of Sunday last, between 5 and 6 o'clock. The residents of the town were aroused by the ringing of the Church fire bell - a mounted messenger having been dispatched from Oak Park to announce that a fire was furiously raging in the family mansion - the home of a gentleman and his family held, and deservedly so, in the highest esteem by all classes and sections of the community.

About 4 o'clock the fire was first discovered by one of the house maids, Sarah Fleming, with great presence of mind and commendable promptitude she gave the alarm, first rousing the butler, Mr Ramage. Proceeding to the bedroom occupied by Mr Bruen, who unfortunately, was suffering from an accidental injury to his knee and was unable to move with assistance. The other occupants of the fast burning mansion were the Misses Eleanor and Grace Bruen. Eleanor made her escape down the stair case, Grace was saved by employees, Mr Pagan procured a long ladder and she was speedily rescued from her perilous position, to the great relief of the anxiously expectant onlookers.

We understand the house and property were insured, but have not heard to what extent.

[Note added 2011: the report of the fire takes up a lot of space, unfortunately I can only transcribe some of it. There is also a book containing an inventory of the items claimed lost in the fire.]

Source: Michael Purcell c.2011

Back to Oak Park

Website: Oak Park Demesne and Forest Walk, County Carlow,


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2001 County Carlow Genealogy IGP