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Fighting bushfires, October 1, 1936.

A gallery of Newcastle fire photographs

As a fireman, Ken Magor had a strong interest in fires. As an acquaintance of various Newcastle press photographers, he also had access to fire photographs for his extensive collection. Here is a gallery of some images, scanned from negatives in our Ken Magor collection.

On Wednesday April 17, 1935, gas company workers were trying to fix a leak outside the Hunter Street shop of tobacconist George A. Campbell, when the gas ignited. Two people were slightly injured. Two men seated in barber chairs ran off in the panic; only one of them returning later to pay for his haircut. The shop was extensively damaged.

Fire destroyed the printing plant of Davies and Cannington in King Street, Newcastle, on December 23, 1967.

It took firemen two hours to extinguish a blaze in a pile of logs at Dyke Wharf on January 17, 1946. The fire burned through the wharf’s decking.

June Wilson, 8, escaped from a fire that destroyed her home in Maitland Road, Islington, on July 13, 1946. (left) A firemen was seriously burned and two women were also injured in the fire. A third woman helped young June escape through a window. The photo at right shows another fire at 32 Dent Street, Islington, destroyed by fire on the night of July 31, 1935. The house was owned by a Mr John Pulman. Neighbours carried their own furniture onto the footpath in case the fire spread, but firefighters managed to contain the blaze.

Fire destroyed the pattern store at Goninan’s works at Broadmeadow at dusk on July 28, 1941. Some of the patterns destroyed were being used in important war work.

On May 1, 1966, a paint store on the corner of Hanbury Street, York Street and Railway Terrace, Mayfield, caught fire. The building – formerly the 1921-vintage Premier Picture Palace – burned fiercely and firefighters recruited bystanders to help break windows to get access. Photos by Ron Morrison.

The headquarters of Newcastle City Non-sectarian Mission in Dangar Street, Wickham, was destroyed by a fire that broke out at 9am on the morning of August 2, 1943. Fireman worked hard to keep the blaze from spreading to adjoining properties.

Mr F. Norris lost his home in one of many bushfires on December 10, 1938. It was a hot day, and strong winds fanned flames, causing chaos across NSW. Mr Norris was on of several residents of the Jesmond unemployed camp (known as Hollywoodor Doggyville) affected by the fires.

Newcastle Standard Steam Laundry at Maitland Road, Islington, was destroyed by fire early on the morning of October 3, 1942.  About 70 people were employed at the laundry. Among the property lost were 3000 military blankets. It was reported that the business was “heavily insured”.
A hair salon, a boot repair shop and a cycle dealership were damaged by a fire at Broadmeadow Road, Broadmeadow, on March 9, 1938. Residences behind the ruined shops were damaged by fire and water.

The Star Theatre at Cardiff was destroyed by fire in the early hours of August 5, 1941. The theatre’s owner, Mr A.G. Edwards, was in hospital at the time of the fire. The stock of a lending library beneath the theatre – operated by a Mr McDougall – was rescued by volunteer helpers.

Fire at Baldwin and Graham’s panel beating shop, Broadmeadow, January 19, 1962.

Fire in a business in Darby Street, Newcastle, December 28, 1938.

Fire in a furniture factory and store at Wallsend, October 28, 1966.

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