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The large works at Uphall, belonging to the Uphall Mineral Oil Company, to Messrs P. M'Lagan, Esq., M.P.; Edward Meldrum, Esq. of Dechmont ; and George Simpson, Esq. of Benhar, have had a narrow escape of being totally consumed by fire. On Sunday morning, at 1 o'clock, while one of the workmen was on his way home from a neighbour's house, he observed flames rising from the direction of No. 4 boiler, and at once roused Capt. Birnie, the manager of the works, who lives in Uphall village, and who was early at the scene of the fire, and by the almost superhuman exertions of himself and a number of willing workmen, who happened to have a strong supply of steam at their command, the fire was entirely mastered at 3 o'clock. The men deserve great praise for the manner they acted under the able commands of Captain Birnie, as in some instances the heat was so oppressive as to blister the men's necks. From an inspection made after the flames were got under, it was supposed the fire was originally caused by the door of No.4 boiler not being properly fastened and screwed up, thus allowing the oil to seep through the crevices and gradually gaining bulk ignited.

The Falkirk Herald, 26th May 1870



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