Local farmers had gathered at Martyn’s father’s grocer’s shop to pay their outstanding bills with gold sovereigns. Many of them were chatting and smoking in the clothing section of the store and some ash had fallen on some of the fabric. The ash smouldered and then ignited while others in the house were asleep. Martyn was rescued by his father who threw him out of the window to the arms of men waiting below. The house and shop were burned down. Martyn’s father never recovered financially from the damage caused by the fire.