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GAS EXPLOSION in DOVER! PC Harry Suters in attendance

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald
Saturday, 09 April 1881

An explosion of gas which might have resulted in much more serious consequences, happened at No 3, Biggin Street, a few minutes after one o'clock on Wednesday morning. The premises were occupied by Mr E Jarvis, who carried on the business of a fancy confectioner, and who it seems was away at the time of the explosion, a woman named Davis being left in charge of the house. It appears that Police Sergeant Hemmings and Police Constable Harry Suters were on duty in Biggin Street at 1.05 am when they heard an explosion, and on making an examination of the premises in the neighbourhood they found that No 3 was on fire. They immediately gave an alarm, and then proceeded to ascertain whether there was anyone in the house. It turned out that the woman David, the only occupant, was sleeping. The police succeeded in waking her, and as she was either too terrified or the fire was too fierce to descend the stairs and escape by the back door, police-constable Suters mounted on to the gable roof of a shed a short distance from the backroom window, which was about 20 feet from the ground. In her alarm the woman got outside of the window in her night-dress, and without waiting for instructions or for assistance from the police, jumped straight at Suters. Fortunately he succeeded in catching her, and the admirable coolness with which he acted under the circumstances was at the time and has since been spoken of in very hightest terms by those who by that time had assembled at the scene of the fire and witnessed the act. Suters showed no ordinary steadiness of nerve, in preserving the equilibrium. On the woman being released from her uncomfortable position, she was received by Mr Castle, her next door neighbour, who very kindly met the emergency by supplying her immediate requirements. Information was at once conveyed to the fire station in Queen Street, and such promptitude was exhibited by the police that the hose-reel was on the spot at 1.10, and a stand-pipe fixed five minutes afterwards. A good supply of water was obtained at 20 minutes past one, and the fire having been detected before it had attained any very alarming proportions it was extinguished by 1.40. The origin of the fire was an escape of gas near the meter, a fire having been left burning in the back parlour. The shop has been gutted, and its contents destroyed, and the furniture in other parts of the house, either by fire or water. The premises were fully insured.

Owner/SourceWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald
Date9 Apr 1881
Linked toHarry SUTERS

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