It must be admitted that the display of the Limerick Fire Brigade during the disastrous fire on Wednesday night was far from satisfactory, despite the individual efforts of the men. All reports agree that the first alarm was given at 8:30 p.m., but by 9:00 p.m., nothing had been done. One idle hose lay on the ground, and when this and others were put into action, the flames had taken hold to the extent that nothing could have saved the doomed biscuit factory. The steam engine arrived at the scene at 9:45 p.m., when, as a Councilor mentioned at the Corporation last night, Captain Hayes had to act as a firefighter and neglect his duties as the head of the Brigade. This may account for the confusion among the men, who were searching for hydrants as if they were in an unfamiliar city, which meant that when the soldiers arrived with their manual, no one could inform them where to find water. Who is responsible for not appointing a firefighter until last night? — this is like locking the stable door when the horse has bolted. The appointment of a firefighter to the Fire Brigade staff has been on the agenda for months, but the relentless chattering of the orators over trivial matter has prevented the Council from reaching it. If lives had been lost, which would undoubtedly have occurred in a different situation, would those incessant talkers have considered themselves “accessory before the fact”?
Northants Evening Telegraph – Saturday 01 March 1902