GUERNSEY HISTORY 

18th June 1937
Pollet guest house fire claimed its third victim

A St Peter Port guest house fire claimed three lives in mid-June 1937. Two of the dead were holiday makers.

One of the dead, 55-year-old Arthur Marillat, was holidaying in Guernsey from his home in Twickenham. He was staying at the fated guest house with his wife, also 55. It was Mrs Marillat’s first ever trip away from the mainland.

The 13-room boarding house, which was above a butcher’s shop, was being occupied by thirty-five people, including the owners Mr and Mrs Pugh. The fire broke out without warning at around four o’clock in the morning and quickly took hold of the building.

As reported by the Portsmouth Evening News, “two men walking outside saw smoke and at once raised the alarm. The building flared up and in a few moments the occupants appeared at the windows, many of the women shrieking for help.”

Many of those who got out alive only escaped by jumping from the upper storey windows. Several were caught by the proprietor’s wife, a pair of police constables and a cafe owner from across the street.

However, Mrs Marillat was not so lucky. She fell 40 feet, and injured herself so badly that she was killed. Her husband, too, fell badly, and fractured the base of his skull. He was taken to hospital but died at 4am the following day – 18th June. According to the Nottingham Journal, he had “lapsed into a semi-conscious state before his death”.

He died a hero

The fire’s third victim was Alfred Blower, the father of the guest house owner. Despite being a 67-year old invalid, Blower ran back into the house to rescue a girl that he thought was trapped inside. The girl had already escaped, but Blower was never seen again. His body was found several hours later, once the fire had been extinguished.

Not much of the building was left by the time the flames had been put out. The fire had been so intense that the roof fell in, leaving only the walls standing.

Category: Guernsey History | Other events tagged ,

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

What else happened in Guernsey in June?

Guernsey history newsletter

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

* indicates required

The Sarnian

The Sarnian Book 1: Dead in the Water

A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!

Check out the first book in The Sarnian series, set on the Channel Island of Guernsey.

Click here to get your copy today…

December in Guernsey through the years…

Guernsey's comms links are severed

18th December 1979

Castle Cornet surrenders in Civil War

17th December 1651

Alderney's evacuees return after occupation

15th December 1945

Herm bribery case came to court

14th December 1918

Victor Hugo flees France and Napoleon

12th December 1851

Sarnian secrets

Sign up to The Sarnian's occasional newsletter for updates on your favourite characters and locations, to go behind the scenes on the writing process, and for early-bird discounts on every new book. We promise not to share your details with anyone else, and you can easily unsubscribe whenever you choose.
* indicates required

Search the archiveWarning