The night of the Big Fire in Argent Street, 5 November 1888. The whole of the western side of Argent Street, stretching from Chloride to Oxide Streets, was completely burnt out within the short space of six hours. Smoke was seen rising from the hairdressing and tobacconists shop of I. Morris, forming part of the Royal Chambers. The alarm was given but, fanned by a firm southeasterly breeze, the flames leaped unchecked from one building to the next. Most of the premises were of flimsy construction, consisting chiefly of timber and iron, lined with tinder-dry matchboard and papered hession. Water carts arrived to replenish the fire brigade's tank, but the single pumping unit proved totally inadequate. Above the township rose an awe-inspiring pall o smoke, as the fire defied the efforts of the Broken Hill Volunteer Fire Brigade to quench it. Total damage was estimated at 70,000 pounds.