Monday 7 February 1927

In the 1920's Burnham was served by a retained Fire Brigade of 9 men who were paid by Burnham Urban District Council for their attendance at fires.

The Fire engine was horse drawn although a local firm allowed the use of their van to tow the engine if the van was available at the time of a fire.

On the night if the 6th February 1927 Mr William Harvey went to bed in terraced cottage three cottages from the end of the row. Mr Harvey left the fire in the kitchen still alight.

In the early hours of the morning Mrs and Mrs Harvey were woken by strange noises and on opening their bedroom door they were driven back by the smoke.

They made their escape through the bedroom window and  warned their neighbours.

Another resident was sent to inform the Captain of the Fire Brigade who in turn knocked at the doors of other members of the Fire team.

By the time the Fire Brigade arrived the fire had spread to other houses. Mrs Harvey has alerted other neighbours who had evacuated their house and fought the flames with pails of water.

The Fire Crew fought to prevent the blaze spreading to other premises but they were unable to prevent the worst fire in Burnham history completely gutting 8 houses and making 59 families homeless.

The blaze became national news appearing in daily newspapers as well as local papers in the Essex area.

Burnham Urban District Council then launched an appeal on behalf of the families whose furniture was destroyed by the fire.


for a list of the amounts claimed by residents from the appeal