Jamestown RI Private Sanitarium Fire, Mar 1931



JAMESTOWN, R. I., March 17 (AP) -- An inquest probably will be begun today into the deaths last night of four patients and an orderly trapped by fire in the No. 3 cottage at the private sanitarium of Dr. W. L. Bates here.
A fifth patient, MATTHEW COX, 50, of Providence was pulled from a second story window by an employe and dropped into the arms of waiting nurses. He was seriously burned.
The dead are:
EDWARD SHEA, patient, of Ashton.
KATHERYN L. GERHARD, 46, a patient, of East Providence.
HENRY EASTMAN, a patient, of Newport.
EDWARD PECKHAM, 83, a patient, of Middletown.
JOSEPH HARDMAN, an orderly, of Central Falls.
The blaze, discovered by James Daly, an orderly, spread through the three-story frame structure so rapidly that ELMER BOWMILLER, another orderly, who attempted to telephone an alarm, was forced to flee from the telephone. It was eight minutes before a call was finally put through to the fire department.
Daly barely had time to hurry through corridors and unlock the doors of the patients, mostly mental cases, and was forced to flee the building without rescuing anyone. Cox was reached from outside, but heavily screened windows barred would be rescuers from reaching the other patients.

Syracuse Herald New York 1931-03-17

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