May 2, 1929
The Times of London
MEGANTIC ON FIRE.
OUTBREAK IN A LONDON DOCK.
A fire broke out at 5:15 last evening in No. 2 hold of the White Star liner Megantic, which is lying at No. 9 shed in the King George V. Dock, North Woolwich. As there were only 30 rolls of paper and a quantity' of loose straw in the hold, it was considered unlikely that the fire would extend farther, but there was so much smoke that the firemen had great difficulty in dealing with the outbreak.
When smoke was first seen issuing from the hold, the crew at once set to work in an attempt to control it, and they were soon helped by the dock fire brigade and the London Fire Brigade. Three hours after the outbreak, however, the men were still unable to reach the seat of the fire. One of them said:-
There is such a lot of smoke that we have been driven back time and time again. There are a number of refrigerators in the hold, which seem to be also on fire, but it is difficult to tell because of the thick smoke. We have so far prevented it from spreading from the hold. There is communication between No. 3 and No. 2 hold, but we have been afraid to open the door between and get at the fire that way, as the flames might spread.
At 10:30 pm. the fire was stated to be well under control, but smoke was still coming from the hold, and firemen were ordered to stand by all night. Three engines were pumping water into the hold from the quayside, but it was not found necessary to good the hold completely, as had at one-time been contemplated. The fire was confined to No. 2 hold.
The Megantic, which was due to leave for Montreal tomorrow, is a twin-screw steamer with a gross tonnage of 14, 878. She was built in 1909 by Messrs. Harland and Wolff.