GREAT FIRE OF HUTTON PART THE SECONDHuttonian has gleaned
a little more about the fire next door during our absence which caused some alarm locally. Apparently a 'good neighbour' all the way from Foulden directly opposite us but on the other side of the mighty Whiteadder (a good three miles by road) seeing the blaze, drove over and was seen knocking on the door of the Old Manse to enquire if he could be of any help. Apparently he had lost a barn in a similar fire some time ago and knew to his cost how quickly a blaze can get out of control. Well thank you sir. Very much appreciated and when I find out who you are I will come and thank you personally.
As with another neighbour's chimney fire of three years ago two fire engines attended the outbreak. One from Duns. The other may have been from Berwick which beat the Duns apparatus to the chimney fire but only after Huttonian and the wife had contained and stifled the flames by stuffing wet coal sacks up the chimney. Perhaps both fire brigades make a habit of dealing with the same incident if it is otherwise a quiet afternoon.
I am glad to have missed all the excitement. A bit too close to home for comfort. Our hedge seems to have survived and the garden shed appears unscathed. No one took any photos which is a great loss to humanity and its history. As it happens only the nearest neighbours were seriously inconvenienced evacuating their cottage to escape the acrid fumes. I would have thought that an apology or an expression of concern might have been in order in their case but nothing has so far been forthcoming. And I wonder if the Fire Brigade(s) have submitted a bill. They presumably would do if they feel that the incident was avoidable and the result of carelessness.
Was it. I don't know. I was n't there.