A bolt of lightening had struck the road near Fieldhouse's Store. It appeared to bounce off the road and struck the shop with an almighty force. It smashed the doors, windows and shelves into "atoms" as the report described, and set fire to various articles. Inside the shop were the Fieldhouse brothers, a Mr Whiteman and a little girl named Byrne. Edwin Fieldhouse was knocked down senseless and lost his sight for around five minutes. The others were all injured but survived the experience. The Fieldhouse's suffered severe financial losses and it was feared that the shop would be re-built. It wasn't and in fact still stands today at the southern end of Queen Street.
An early but undated photograph of Fieldhouse's Store.
Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 12 February 1856, p5