Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Mill Fire History Repeating; Millaquin Mill Burnt Down in 1927

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Mill Fire History Repeating; Millaquin Mill Burnt Down in 1927

Article excerpt

WHEN 28 Bundaberg firefighters saved the Millaquin Mill from what could have been a major fire at the weekend, there was an element of history repeating -a team of dedicated men had done the same way back in 1927 when the Daily News and Mail - later the NewsMail - reported on a monstrous blaze that ripped through the mill.

It was described as the biggest burn in Bundaberg district history.

A day-long blaze on Thursday, April 28, 1927, destroyed the Millaquin sugar stores, consumed 2800 tons of refined sugar and 100 tonnes of syrups and damaged the refinery.

The damage bill was estimated at 250,000 pounds.

Shortly after 8am, the northern end of the building caved in and a few minutes later part of the roof crashed.

The roaring flames ascended to a tremendous height, while the surging crowd of spectators had to beat a hasty retreat to avoid being overcome by the terrific heat.

Firemen, assisted by police and civilians, valiantly fought the conflagration.

There were many narrow escapes but the men stuck to their work and although gradually driven back by the flames, their persevering efforts were eventually rewarded by success.

After three hours and a sudden change of wind, they had the fire under control and were able to save the new char house in which modern machinery was erected last year at a cost of 25,000 pounds.

The Daily News and Mail reporter described it as a wonderful effort.

"Many of the men had not tasted a bite or had as much as a drink of water since the previous evening and were on the verge of collapse but they stuck it manfully," he wrote.

The raw sugar mill was unaffected and the sugar industry was not expected to suffer any dislocation in the coming cane crushing season.

Fortunately, not all the new equipment had been installed in the mill and some machinery was still sitting in the wharves.

Everything destroyed, including the sugar which bubbled and burned for almost two days, was covered by insurance. …

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