Saturday, 23 April 2016


SYDNEY - A fire was discovered
this morning in the after hold of the
A.U.S.N. Company's interstate steamer
Indarra, lying at Darling Hathorn. The fire
was first seen by an officer on board the
steamer Burrwah, lying alongside the
adjoining wharf. At 20 minutes past 7 am
he noticed smoke issuing from the ventilators 
on board the Indarra. Water was poured into 
the hold from both sides of the ship. The
hold was completely flooded and in three
hours the fire was extinguished. The bulk
head held fast and thus saved the engine
room and other parts of the ship from being
damaged. The hull was also undamaged
but the cargo in the hold comprising general 
merchandise, was completely destroyed.
As soon as the fire was extinguished the
Hydra commenced to pump the water out of
the vessel This work was expected to be
completed into tonight.
The cause of the outbreak is a mystery.
An inquiry is to be held The officers of
the fire brigade are of opinion that the fire
originated on the surface of the cargo and
was similar in many respects to the fire in
the afterhold of another steamer a week
or two ago The India was full loaded
with interstate cargo. Her hatchways have 
not been opened for over a week.

It is argued that a second, catastrophic fire on board Waratah was unlikely, as there was nothing particularly flammable in the cargo. It is interesting that Indarra, which shared similar limitations to Waratah, experienced a fire, the cause of which was a mystery. It was fortunate that the fire took place while Indarra was in port and subdued by flooding the hold. If this had occurred at sea the outcome could have been tragic. It was standard procedure to flood the holds which contained fire. In a heavy steamer, prone to stability issues, such flooding irrespective of the damage caused by the fire could have had dire consequences. It is also interesting to note that the fire was not detected until smoke issued from ventilators.

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