A terrible fire destroyed much of my country residence last night. Jane and I were asleep when it happened. One of the maids left a shawl too close to the dining room fireplace. The embers shifted and the resulting conflagration tore through the manor. My lungs suffered from the smoke, every breath burns as if the fire is still raging. Jane was burned while escaping onto the lawn. She tripped on her robe and…she landed on a smoldering carpet. Doctor Palmer examined her at the hospital and it looks like she will be alright in time…I do hope so. One footman and one housemaid died as well. The estate itself is a blackened ruin with water and sand from the fire brigade strewn about. Stone does not burn, as my grandsire was fond of saying, in time, the main house will be restored. The outbuildings and stables survived, although three horses bolted. I most acutely feel the loss of my regalia, seals of office, books, and furniture. Cost is of course no concern, however, some of the lost articles were irreplaceable…all ash now. Surprisingly, this journal was unharmed. Its pages weren’t singed and it does not carry that noxious odor of smoke. Shocking indeed since one of the grooms only just now retrieved it from the library, nearly twelve hours after the fire began. As it is one of my precious few remaining effects, I ought to keep it close.