Fire: A Brittle Sea Book Extract

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image of a burning building

Extracted from The Brittle Sea

Most employees lived on the top two floors of the building while the work was carried out on the next two floors down. The ground floor was free for delivery of cloth and collection of finished garments. This floor had all entrances and exits locked at all times when not in use, just in case someone from the Mayor’s office walked in and saw the worker’s conditions.

Gordon Bellagon, as Harker had arranged, arrived to carry out an inspection of the top two floors. Harker had sent a message, supposedly from a well-wisher in the local council, informing him that his sister’s premises would be inspected sometime over the next few days. Bellagon had duly arrived to get his sister to clean up the factory, just in case. Bellagon was a fastidious man and wanted no smearing of his good name in the shipping industry.

The work for the day in the factory had started, and the doors were now firmly locked from the inside. The fire spread quickly from the basement and engulfed the first floor within minutes. Only one man escaped the blaze that day, and that was William Harker. One hundred and thirty-two souls lost their lives…

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020



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