FRIDAY the 13th is generally held as an unlucky day by those who are superstitious, and for Blair Mains, now Blairmains, at Blairlogie, it lived up to its reputation.

On Friday, October 13, 1882, fire broke out at the farm steading, then owned by Robert Muir, but by the time it was noticed, the fire had a firm hold.

That night all the ploughmen from the farm were in Logie village, now Blairlogie, while the only people at the steading were Mrs Muir and a few domestic servants.

The steading was built as three sides of a square and the farmhouse stood at the open end of the square.

The fire had broken out in the straw barn not far from the house but no-one inside had noticed that anything was wrong.

It was only when servants who were in Blairlogie noticed that the alarm was raised.

With the straw being dry, the fire spread rapidly, but a messenger was sent to Menstrie to raise the alarm at the house where the local fire engine was kept, but the house was locked up. The only other fire appliance available was from Bridge of Allan.

He met another man, so the pair made their way there, reaching Bridge of Allan at around 11 o'clock.

There was also a limited supply of water at the farm so within just a few hours, the steading was reduced to a ruin, with only the farmhouse surviving, and a smaller building where the horse's meat was boiled.

There was a large quantity of corn in the granary and the straw was piled high, so these losses were keenly felt but were covered by insurance.

The horses and cattle at the farm were all rescued.

With it being a dark night, the fire was seen for miles and a large number of local people arrived at the scene to do what they could to help.

Buckets were brought out and filled with water, but it was so fierce, they had little or no effect.

The fire appliance left from Bridge of Allan as soon as word reached them and finally arrived around midnight.

By that time, however, the fire had burned itself out with much of the steading being reduced to rubble, such was the ferocity of it.

The cause of the blaze remained a mystery but it is known that straw can combust under the right circumstances and it appeared this may have been what happened at the farm.