The cause of the fire at Sumter.
--The Charleston Courier
, of Tuesday, has the following account of the recent explosion at Sumter
, by which 11 men were killed and 41 wounded:
From the official report, it appears that a small magazine in the southwest angle of the fort, containing about one hundred and fifty pounds of powder and a quantity of small arms, and other ammunition, exploded about half-past 9 o'clock Friday morning. The explosion ignited all the materials in the room attached, killing or wounding all those in the immediate vicinity.
The wounded were burnt with greater or less severity.
The passages were instantly filled with dense volumes of smoke, introduced by a blast of great strength.
This prevented any prolonged or successful attempt to extinguish the fire.
A boat from the navy, with a supply of water buckets, was promptly sent to the assistance of the garrison, and rendered all the aid in their power.
The behavior of the garrison, under their trying circumstances, deserves the highest credit.
Mr. W. R. Catheart
, telegraphic operator, whose adjoining quarters were completely enveloped, on attempting to make his way out, was knocked down from suffocation, but managed afterwards to return and secure his instruments.