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Comanche, TX Gasoline Smoothing Iron Explodes, May 1908



Fuel Used in Smoothing Iron Ignites Garments and Victim Rushes Into Street Near Home.

Special To The News.

Comanche, Tex., May 6.--While Mrs. Nellie Witt was refilling the reservoir of the tank of a gasoline smoothing iron which she was using, the oil in some way became ignited and the burning fluid was thrown over her.

Enveloped in flames, she rushed to the street, where a blanket was thrown around her and the fire extinguished, but not until she was so badly burned that death ended her suffering at 3 o'clock this afternoon, the fatal burns having been received at 9 o'clock this morning.

The first explosion set fire to the room, and while attempting to extinguish this fire, the main gasoline tank exploded, throwing the flames on Mrs. Witt. All her clothing, even to her shoes, burned off.

Mrs. Witt is servived[sic] by her husband, Prof. M. K. Witt, who is principal of the Comanche High School. Deceased was a distant relative of Adlai E. Stevenson and formerly lived at Boylis, Ill., where her mother and father live, but since her marriage to Prof. Witt, nearly two years ago, has lived in Comanche.

Damage to the residence by fire was nominal.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 7 May 1908

article | by Dr. Radut