The Maitland Daily Mercury, Tuesday 16 December 1913, page 5



A fire broke out. yesterday morning on the steamer Janus, at present, lying in Woolloomooloo Bay. A full turn-out of the city fire stations was ordered under Chief Officer Spars and the deputy chief, and it was at once seen that a serious task was before the firemen. Two motors wore set to work, and lines of hose were run aboard. The great difficulty before the men was the dense smoke that completely frustrated all endeavours to get to the scene of the outbreak.

It was at first thought that the blaze was among the contents of the No. 1 hold, and the first attack was commenced from the deck. Lines of hose were dragged up, and the men fought their way to the sides of the forehatch and then poured their streams into the heart of the smoke, but it was quite impossible, to see the actual seat of the flames, and for a time nothing could be done.

Then, as the flames seemed to be making further headway and the clouds of smoke and steam grew thicker, it. was decided to open up another line of attack. Lines of hose were led through a wide port on to the main deck, and the firemen gradually worked their way to the. No. 2 hold. Here the smoke was still more impenetrable, and
for a long while it could not be seen what headway was being made, but at length, at about 2 o'clock, the smoke began to thin out, and the firemen were able to say that the spread of the flames was checked.

Tho contents of Nos. 1 and 2 holds seem to have been practically destroyed, and it is feared that the vessel may have suffered structurally. Tho cargo in these holds is stated to be mainly Jute and chaff.

the Janus is a steel screw steamer of 1824 (?) tons, belonging to the British India Steam Navigation Company. She arrived from Calcutta on December 5, under the command of Captain McDonald.


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