Canadian parliament burned to the ground
Ottowa, 5 February 1916 - Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa have been almost completely destroyed by fire.
Apparently emanating from the reading room, the fire spread with startling rapidity last night trapping some in their offices. This was facilitated by the extent of wood throughout the buildings. The Library of the Parliament narrowly escaped the conflagration.
Up to six people – including two female guests of the Speaker of the House – have died. Others are missing, including at least one MP. Among those who are seriously injured is the Canadian Minister for Agriculture, Martin Burrell.
Germans suspected of arson
Rumours of German involvement in the fire – and in other fires across Canada – remain unproven but have spread wildly.
The leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party John Redmond cabled the Premier of Canada: ‘All Ireland filled with indignation at brutal outrage. Accept deepest sympathy of our people.’
The buildings were constructed in the 1870s and the cost of replacement is put at more than $2 million.
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]