Fires In Alexandria

On Monday, December 26, 1904, the Egyptian Gazette had a part in the local and general section describing three fires that occurred during the previous two days. The first fire occurred on Saturday at 2 p.m. at a tobacconist on Attarin-street. The second fire occurred at a second tobacconist. This time it was at 2 a.m. Monday morning on Munet el-Bassal. The third fire occurred only an hour later at a grocer’s shop in Attarin-street. Fortunately, the fires only caused slight damages and no one died.

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The frequency of these fires is quite strange, mainly because it is winter when these fires occurred. This wouldn’t stand out as much in the summer because in the summer it would be easy to “cause a fire by heat from the sun”. Another strange part about this article is that it doesn’t mention the cause of the fires. The paper also dedicated a relatively small part of the paper for what is a significant story. Even if those fires in particular didn’t cause much damage, it is likely that if the causes are not identified then more fires will continue to occur. If the causes are identified, however, then precautions can be made in order to prevent the fires from occuring. It is also clear that these fires are not an isolated incident because the advertisements about fire insurance are rampant in the Egyptian Gazette.

Carson Combs
Carson Combs

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in Fall 2022.