Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Crews assess historic building in Bristol

Dr Elizabeth Blackwell - pic Glasgow Uni Archive
Elizabeth Blackwell died in Hastings at the age of 81

Fire crews are assessing the structure of an historic building in St Pauls, Bristol, following a fire.

The building is the former home of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first recognised female doctor in the Great Britain and the United States.

Fire crews were called at about 1640 GMT on Sunday to numbers one and two Wilson Street, off Portland Square, after reports that the roof was alight.

The fire started in the top two floors of the four-story building.

During the fire, thick smoke was blown across the M32 where it meets the city centre and damage to the building was extensive.

Elizabeth Blackwell was born into a wealthy Bristol family in 1821 and spent her early years living in the house.

She gained a medical degree in America in 1849 and later set up a clinic which became the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children. It still exists today as the New York Infirmary/ Beeckman Downtown Hospital.

After her return to England, she became the first woman to have her name placed on the British Medical Register. She died in Hastings in 1910 at the age of 81.



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