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Australia's Worst Film Fire: The Park Street Explosion

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It remains of the most spectacular fires ever seen in Sydney’s CBD, but it is largely overshadowed by the Pastoral Finance Association Woolstore fire of December 1921, which gutted a seven story building at Kirribilli and racked up a bill of an estimated £600,000. 
Unlike the Pastoral Building, explosions tore through buildings meters away from the Town Hall and rained down a mixture of burning iron, film and molten tar, but, incredibly, the only fatalities were two cats. The damage bill went into the tens of thousands of pounds, but, more importantly, it remains the biggest loss of silent film ever seen in Australia, if not the entire southern hemisphere. It became known as the Overseas Film Service fire and it happened 98 years ago.
Walter Brown was the brainchild behind the Overseas Film Service. Brown was bornin New Jersey in 1873 and served with the New York police department where, according to his later memories, he was known for his incredible physical presence and strength, …

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