After the train passed a property in Moriac a fire started. It swept through many properties destroying stacks of hay, miles of fencing and livestock trapped against the fencing. Although a warning was sent to Torquay efforts to stop the fire from entering the town were no match for the fire fanned by a strong north to north-westerly wind.
The fire entered Torquay at two points – one near the Palace Hotel which was saved. Many residents had already evacuated to the beach when the other point entered in the middle of town down
One man was killed, and two stores, the bakehouse, the public hall, Sunday school and 57 houses were destroyed.