Mexborough & Swinton Times, April 14
Fire at Croft House
Considerable excitement was caused on Sunday afternoon by the ringing of the Fire alarm bell at the Fire Station and a crowd quickly gathered in March street, where the ornamental woodwork on the west gable end of Croft House was found to be blazing fiercely. The owner, Mr. George Appleyard-the Grand Old Man of Conisbrough- is away from home, and a little delay was caused by this, for the key of the locked-up house was not immediately available, and the flames were too high to be tackled from the ground.
Members of the Fire Brigade with sufficient hose pipes, were quickly in attendance, and after a little unavoidable delay a jet of water was directed on the flames which already had been checked by the energetic action of Mr. Harry Appleyard, who, from an upper room window was able to throw water from a ladling-tin on the burning woodwork. Captain Clarkson and his men worked with a will and the outbreak was soon mastered. Fireman Gregory merits special mention for his intrepid resourcefulness.
Fortunately the wind was easterly and therefore did not assist the flames to spread; had there been a westerly wind a fire in such a position would have been much more serious, for the spars supporting the roof would have been destroyed.
The cause of the fire is obscure, and one can only surmise. My own view is that a spark from one of the chimneys near, was carried by the wind, and lodged in some dry grass, probably an old bird nest in the interstices of the woodwork, and, fanned by the wind set fire to the stuff, which in turn ignited the timber, which being old and very dry, would burn readily.