On Thursday evening last a disastrous fire occurred at Rosslea Manor, the seat of John Madden, Esq., the result being that the entire building was destroyed, notwithstanding the efforts of many who had assembled from the surrounding districts to assist in extinguishing the flames.
At three o’clock p.m. one of the chimneys from a servant’s bedroom was observed to be on fire, but after some delay it was put out, or supposed to have been put out.
It would appear, however, from the sequel that the flue was in some way connected with the woodwork of the roof, for about eight o’clock this part of the edifice was observed to be in flames.
Messengers were dispatched to Clones and Rosslea for assistance, and in a short time the police at these stations turned out with many others anxious to render effective help.
Fortunately there were a number of guests in the house at the time who had been invited to a dinner party that evening, and after it was seen that there was little hope of saving the building, they with others proceeded to empty the house before the flames reached the lower rooms.
In this way the valuable contents were saved. All the furniture, pictures, plate, &c., were got out, and of these the police took charge.
At ten o’clock the roof and floors of the several rooms had fallen in, and not a vestige of the contents remained with the exception of the billiards-room, and this was secured mainly through the exertions of Messrs. Clarke and Fitzgerald, who were early on the scene of the catastrophe.
In the meantime messengers were dispatched for the Monaghan fire-engine, but it does not appear that it has yet arrived there.
At about 9.30 one of Mr. Madden’s daughters who had been ill was removed to Rev Haire-Forster’s, and the other ladies to Rev Canon Finlay’s, where they remain.
We understand that the premises were not fully insured so that the loss will be very considerable indeed.
Much sympathy is felt for Mr Madden and family, but it is a source of congratulation that the report circulated during the early part of the night, namely, that the fire was the result of a malicious outrage, had no foundation whatever.
The night was very stormy, and it was with great difficulty that the stable and a large range of office-houses were saved.
Men were told off [sic] early in the evening to see after this part of the work, and it was directly owing to their energetic action during the progress of the fire that the flames did not extend to all the outside buildings.
After all was over Mr. Madden could not be induced to leave the premises, but slept a few hours in the harness-room, yesterday morning, before overseeing the disposal of valuables saved from the conflagration.
The occurrence will be particularly inconvenient and annoying just now, as we understand Mr. Madden expected one of his sons home in a few days on a visit.
First published in May, 2014.