At 1.45pm on 1 Oct 1902 a fire broke out in the roof over Victoria Ward. Marion Still, a maid in the ward, had discovered the fire. She told a nurse and Mr Farrow, the Under-Porter, climbed the ladder to the trap-door with a hose whilst the fire brigade was sent for. The fire was soon under control but not before it had caused considerable damage. The roof over Victoria Ward and the adjoining corridor had been completely destroyed, (as can be seen in the photo). The walls, floor and contents of the ward had been damaged and the ceiling of Hatton Ward had been damaged by water. No-one was injured and all the property destroyed was insured with the Sun Fire Office.
Committees were set up to supervise the repairs – known as the Fire Committee- and another to enquire into the cause of the fire, which was never established. However, workmen using naked candles had been working on the installation of pipes near the point of origin of the fire, but the committee decided that the fire had probably started in a beam which partially supported a chimney stack.
The Sun Fire Office’s compensation of £1,828 covered the cost of the repairs to the wards.