April 1912 Fire

A century ago on April 6 1912 Ipswich suffered a major disaster when fire broke out at the premises of R D and J B Fraser. The large furniture store was on a site bound by Princes Street, Museum Street and Elm Street. The fire brigade dealt with a fire on the site but later in the day the blaze reignited and the whole building was lost. The fire brigade were unable to control the fire with their horse drawn steam pumps and buildings opposite in Princes Street were also badly damaged as the fire raged out of control.While the centre of Ipswich was still clearing within days news broke of the Titanic sinking in the Atlantic. The fire saw calls to upgrade the fire brigade and plans were made to buy a motor powered fire tender. It was 1918 when a Model T Ford machine arrived and 1920 was the last time the horse drawn steam pump was used. Fraser’s were house furnishers, upholsterers, jewelers and pawnbrokers. They also had a cabinet makers and bedding workshops. the store was rebuilt in similar style. The company was taken over and became Fraser (Maple) Ltd. The company closed in 1984 and the building became offices.

opposite frasers
Frasers 6 april 191212_ (6)
Frasers 6 april 191212_