The following article appeared in the London Times on August 27, 1821 regarding a fire Messrs Humphries Factory in Frome, Somerset. The story had first appeared in the Bath Herald
On Friday, at midnight, a most awful fire broke out in the factory of Messrs. Humphries and son, opposite the South Parade, Frome. Upon the first alarm the inhabitants assembled in great numbers, and not withstanding their exertions with four engines the whole building, with all its machinery and stock within was totally destroyed. The body of fire that issued from the premises, which being situated on an eminence, was so great as to throw an intense light on every house in the town, and to be seen at Newbury, in Berkshire, a distance of 50 miles. The heat was to that degree, that the leaves and fruit on the trees exposed to it, for nearly 100 yards in front, are partly dried up. Not more than £800of the property was insured; and about 200 industrious hands are deprived of employment. Some suspicion having arisen that it was willfully set on fire, a general meeting of the inhabitants has since been held and a reward of £200 offered, beside £50 by Messrs. Humphries, and £60 by the workmen in the employ of Messrs. Sheppard in that town for the discovery of the incendiary. We learn that three men were apprehended on suspicion, and underwent a long examination before the Magistrates, on Wednesday evening; they were ordered to be brought up again today.