Mysterious Station Road Fire

1904 Raploch Cottage, home of William Rae

On Wednesday 19th May 1915, fire broke out at Raploch Cottage on Station Road. The property was well known as being the home of the former Blantyre bonesetter William Rae, though it had been 10 years since he died.

In 1915, it was occupied by Mr William Rae jnr, a dairyman. The mysterious fire was first observed in the kitchen, and was promptly put out, but in the afternoon, it again broke out in the front room. This was again extinguished after a time but not before considerable damage had been done.

Early the next day, fire broke out yet again and this time, serious enough for the Fire Brigade to be called. They speedily put it out and left. However, that same day around twelve o’clock it broke out again in the front bedroom upstairs. The Fire brigade was called again, and this time the police were called for too. Nobody was able to determine the cause of the fire that day.

The owners, then unwilling to believe anything supernatural or natural was causing these fires decided that the only logical conclusion was that their servant girl was deliberately starting them! The servant girl, who had only been there three weeks working for Mr Rae, was arrested without proof, in connection with starting the fires.

Rapoloch Cottage is pictured 9 years earlier with crowds of people who had come to seek out William Rae Snr.

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