After Ned was taken, more police arrived from Beechworth. The police continued to shoot into the Inn until about 3PM. The decision was made to burn the last two outlaws out. It did not seem to matter that there was still an innocent man (Cherry) inside. The task was eagerly taken up by Const Johnston who under the cover of rifle-fire placed straw beside the building and set it alight. Ned’s sister Maggie arrived as this was happening and no doubt was horrified with what was taking place.
Several sympathisers and other bystanders had arrived including a priest named Rev Gibney. Gibney was recorded as one of the few heroes of the day. Against the wishes of the police he entered the burning building to save the souls of the two outlaws if he could. The fire had taken hold rather quickly, mostly due to the flammable contents of the inside of the Inn such as the calico lining.
Gibney spent considerable time with Ned before embarking on his mission to save Dan Kelly and Steve Hart. As the wounded Ned lay in the railway station being attended to by doctors and questioned by one and all, the Inn was engulfed in flames. (making it impossible for Ned to have appeared, guns blazing from the burning Inn as we often hear) Before it burned down completely Gibney made it to the bodies of Dan and Steve. He noted that they were without their armour and had no obvious wounds, to him they had committed suicide. Before he could do anything more the place started falling in around him and bystanders were at first sure he had perished. Police now ran in and pulled out the fatally wounded Martin Cherry and the stiff corpse that was a slightly singed Joe Byrne. The bodies of Dan and Steve had to be left there until they were raked from the ashes. (note: various reports had at least one of the bodies in the fire still wearing armour, whilst other reports had the armour laying neatly alongside)