Parliament Hill Fire of 1916

Posted by on Friday, September 16, 2016
Photo: National Archives of Canada

On February 3, 1916, a fire that began in the reading room of Centre Block of Parliament quickly spread and destroying the building.

Politicians frequently visited to room at the end of the day to relax and catch up on the news.

Conservative MP smelled smoke. He looked to see small flames in a self. He called for help but no one came. 

C.R. Stewart, chief doorkeeper of the House of Commons interrupted proceedings in the House of Commons at 9 p.m. to announce: “There is a big fire in the reading room; everyone get out quickly.”

Firefighters continue spraying water on Parliaments destroyed Centre Block but it was no use.

A commission was set up to determine the exact cause of the fire. The commission said it had a “strong suspicion” the fire was an act of German sabotage, but they left the matter open for further investigation since there was no conclusive evidence.

The Team

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