"The burning of the Buffs and other corps was an instance of gross carelessness. It occurred in the so-called Barracks of Fort Napier. Which were simply grass huts like those of a Zulu Kraal. " In one were the papers of the 17th Lancers, in another those of the King's Dragoon Guards; the documents of the 94th occupied a third hut, those of the 58th a fourth, while in a fifth were entrusted the records of the Buff's. A sergeant who slept in the last got drunk. And it is said. Upset a paraffin lamp with the result that in a very few minutes the whole place was in a blaze, Cash book, ledges, tabulated document, together with a large amount of miscellaneous property, were hopelessly destroyed, the greater part of the documents being of a nature which rendered them difficult to replace. The heat of the fire may be judged of from the fact that a silver watch was picked up afterwards melted into a soiled mass"
Source: The Zulu War Through Contemporary Eyes