Sherman, TX Fire, Jun 1886
A Death-Dealing Fire.
Tragic Result of a Sherman Blaze-Other Fires.
Special to The News.
Surrman [sic], June 28.-A terrible holocaust occurred, seven miles west of this city, last night about 11 o’clock. The following graphic account, of which was given The News correspondent by Mr. J.C. Anderson: “I was stopping at Miller’s residence last night, and we remained sitting on the front porch until a reasonably late hour, probably 10 o’clock, before we retired. After I was in bed I thought I smelled something like smoke, but supposed it was from a locomotive which passed on the Texas and Pacific railroad about that time, and I did not say anything, for there seemed to be no disturbance of any kind in the house. I would have got up and made an investigation, but I disliked to do so on account of being a stranger in the house. About 11 o’clock a rumbling noise began to become audible, and it soon developed into the unmistakable roar of fire. In a few moments the occupants of the other rooms down the stairs became aware of the dreadful presence of the fire. Mr. Miller opened the door which led from his sleeping apartment into the hallway, but the intense volume of smoke that rushed into the door from the burning stairway drove him and his wife back into the room, compelling them to leave by way of the window. In the excitement of the first moment it was forgotten that four members of the family were in one of the second-story rooms, completely at the mercy of the flames, which had already burs6t into their sleeping apartment. Mr. Miller and his wife both made frantic endeavors to reach their children by way of the stair case, but it was impossible. Mr. Miller then, with my assistance, climbed to the top of the front porch, upon which opened two windows of the second story. These he kicked in and rushed into the room regardless of the blinding flames and terrible heat with which the room was filled. I remained at the foot of the post at which Mr. Miller had ascended, and braced my self to receive the children as Mr. Miller handed them down. The smoke was so dense that the agonized father, assisted by his eldest son, who happened to be on the first floor at the time, groped about the room and picked up the bodies one by one and handed them to me. This was kept up till three girls, aged respectively 12, 14 and 16, and a small boy, aged about 4, were taken out. Mr. Miller and his son were so blinded by the smoke that they did not realize the fearful work of the flames until the work of resuscitation was commenced, when the terrible discovery was made that one girl, was dead, and that almost precludes the possibility of recovery. The one who was taken from the building dead was the youngest, and the one who is perhaps fatally burned is the next oldest. The oldest was burned painfully on the right side of the face, while the little boy’s injuries were confined to a very ugly blister on the right arm.” Since the information by Mr. Anderson, the girls whom he thought fatally burned died, and both bodies were buried in West Side cemetery this afternoon at 4 o’clock. A very large crowd was present at the burial, and the bereaved parents have the sympathies of the entire community. The belief of the family is that the fire originated from a match probably lighted by one of the girls on their way up the stairs and thrown down on the floor. There is another theory that it was caused by the explosion of a kerosene lamp in the hallway. The parents are wild with grief, and they have no correct idea of the events which transpired during the time of the fire. A subscription was started here for the benefit of the unfortunate family, and a large amount was collected and given them.
Galveston Daily News, Galveston, TX 29 Jun 1886