LURGAN, Monday, November 21, 1892. – A destructive fire took place early this morning. Shortly before two o’clock an alarm of fire was raised, and it was found that Sunnyside Factory, Victoria Street, the property of Mr. George A. Crawford, was on fire. The building is of recent construction, having an extended two storey frontage in Victoria Street. The factory which is attached to this building, extends for nearly 200 feet in the rear. Mr. Crawford carried out an extensive business in the hemstitching and handkerchief finishing, and also the aerated water and bottling business.
The fire brigade, under the superintendence of Mr. John Long, arrived shortly after three o’clock, but at this time it had become so utterly hopeless to save the main buildings that the exertions of the fire brigade were used successfully to save the adjoining buildings. The stabling and washing-houses were almost all that were not devoured in the flames. The building, which was filled with valuable machinery, has been completely gutted, nothing remaining but a portion of the walls, the front wall having fallen this evening. The destructive nature of the flames can be understood when a couple of hours after the fire was first noticed the entire roofs had fallen in.
In the two departments of his business Mr. Crawford gave employment to some 300 persons, who will severely feel being thrown out of work at this time of year. It may be mentioned that some time previous to the discovery of the fire a number of the operatives and their friends had left the veining works, in which a ball had been given by Mr. Crawford to the hands by way of celebrating the approaching marriage of a young woman who had been in his employment for a lengthened period, and who had a few days previously been presented with a handsome testimonial by her fellow-workers.
So far as can at present be ascertained, however, it would appear that the fire did not originate in the section of the buildings where the ball was held, but in the portion devoted to the bottling works. It is understood a considerable amount of the linen goods were saved, but the entire of the valuable hemstitching machinery, bottling, and aerated water apparatus and ingredients have been utterly consumed. The veining factory is said to be covered by insurance, but the bottling work only partially. A large concourse of people visited the scene of the fire during the day.