Fire Mar 29 1902 (4? houses destroyed) | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Fire Mar 29 1902 (4? houses destroyed)

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Fire Mar 29 1902 (4? houses destroyed)
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Saturday, March 29, 1902


The newspapers of the time don't mention a large fire on 27-3-1902, but they do report one that occurred on 29-3-1902 involving the destruction of 46 (HK Telegraph, 29-3-1902) or 42 houses (China Mail, 31-3-1902). The similarities in the dates and damage suggest Martyn's photo is of the aftermath of the fire on the 29th.

Having started at 288 Queen's Road the fire spread to engulf, "from Queen's near the Chinese Temple on Hollywood Road, a large rectangular area of what was densely packed Chinese houses". Buildings in Queen's Road, Lower and Upper Lascar Rows, Ladder Street and Circular Pathway were destroyed. Martyn's photo should therefore have been taken somewhere in that area. 

Part of the China Mail's article can be applied to Martyn's photo quite accurately, describing the area as, "a mass of blackened ruins, flanked by tottering edifices pointing gaunt grimy fingers into space".

There was no loss of life. 

Thanks for pinning down the correct date. I've updated the text to match.

Regards, David