From Francis Garrett, Cottenham Ablaze:
9.9.1847: This fire started in the area of the modern Village College and a walled garden in Denmark Road (nos. 10-16).
At about midnight William Norman discovered that the shop of John Moore, a cooper was on fire. Moore used to leave wood near a fire to smoke hams. Cole the basketmaker was woken with difficulty and the policeman James Macwinnie tried to wake neighbours. However there was confusion and 14 houses, 12 farms and 4 shops were destroyed.
The Cottenham and Willingham fire engines came to assist. However the premises of James Ivatt were destroyed. Most buildings in the path of the fire were destroyed; only the cottage of Robert Wilkin in Camp’s Yard survived as did the new brick and slate house of William Spackman (305 High Street).
Contemporary sources describe women and children huddling in fear. Insurance company fire engines arrived from Cambridge but too late to have much impact.
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