04 January 2012

The Same Old Story

Shortly after beginning my research my father in law gave me a descedancy "type" chart on the Krugman family.  It was entitled "Krugman's To America".   The chart was roughly done and contained many names and dates, some of which were correct others that were close.  None the less, I appreciated what he had done for me.  So I began my research on the Krugman family.

I quickly learned that Krugman is not one of those names that is everywhere.  Not alot of people are researching the surname.  So the going was not in any way easy (but then who's surname is?)  I worked my way thru his chart, slowing verifying, disproving and documenting the things I saw on the chart.  I added children and dates, locations and surnames. 

One person on the tree, a Mrs. Charles Krugman intrigued me.  There was no date, no place only the notation that she died in a fire leaving behind two young daughters and a husband.  No names no dates.  So the search began.  I found Charles Krugman on the 1900 census as a widower, living with his parents and three daughters.  Next I located a marriage record for him dated March 16, 1893 in Seneca County, Ohio.  I knew it was the same Charles Krugman as I found a newspaper ad stating that he had opened a tailor shop in Seneca County in October of 1893.  I now had a window to work with. 

I was unsuccesful with my attempts to locate much further information on the death of Mrs. Krugman.  However, knowing that she died in a fire, I decided to contact the fire cheif of Seneca County.  I sent him an email with all the information I had asking if he knew if any fire records exsisted from that time frame I had.  I also asked that if he could not help me, might he share my info with someone who could?  I included my mailing and email contact information, included a very nice thank you and then hit send.

Thinking I might hear something I checked daily, hoping for something ANYTHING...  days turned into weeks, weeks into months...  finally after several months the mailman brought a letter.

It was quite interesting.  When the firechief couldn't help me he turned my note over to a lady at the newspaper.  She took my note, researched, did some digging and FOUND me the information I needed.  Below is they typed version of the newspaper clipping she sent me.

Same Old Story

Fostoria, O., Nov. 26, --Mrs.C.F. Krugman was fatally burned as a result of trying to start a fire in the kitchen stove with gasoline. There were some live coals concealed in the ashes and the flame jumped from them to the can, causing its contents to explode and cover her with the burning fluid.

HORRIBLE Mrs. Charles Krugman Fatally Burned at Noon Tuesday Kindling a Fire with Gasoline and the Can and Contents Exploded

At this writing, two o'clock this afternoon, Mrs. Charles J. Krugman lies at her home on South Union Street, awaiting the summons of death, burned to a crisp and moaning, directing to her husband the care of their three small children.

Mr. and Mrs. Krugman and family moved here from Hammond, indiana, two months ago, and he has been employed by Mohler, the tailor, since that time. Both parties lived here about six years ago, he marrying her, Miss Kritzer, in this city, she being a sister to Mrs. George O'Brien.

Mr. Krugman said this afternoon that he went home to dinner, and hs wife thought she would get a quick dinner. There was a little fire in the kitchen stove and both he and she and a little child were standing beside the stove when she picked up what she thought was a coal oil can, but which may have contained gasoline, and taking off a stove lid began pouring the fluid onto the coals, when instantly the contents exploded, throwing now burning fluid in all directions and wrapping the body of the unfortunate woman in a sheet of flame. The glass in the stove was blown out, and the ignited fluid was distributed over the floor and table and blackened the walls of the room wherever it struck. Mrs. Krugman screamed in pain while her husband tried to extinguish the flames which enveloped her; in doing so he severely burned both of his hands while the little daughter is also slightly injured.

An alarm of fire was turned in, but the services of the department were not needed, though medical assitance, in the persons of Drs Hale, Leonard and Hoege, was hurried to the scene.

Mail carrier Lovett, who lives in the adjoining house, was the first person outside of the family to hear the cries of the woman and to rush in. He grabbed a lot of carpet and wrapped it about the woman, who was nothing more than a pillar of fire, and shortly had the flames extinguished, but the cruel flames had done their work. Most of the clothes were burned off her body, the hair was scorched and singed, the lips, nose, ears and eyebrows were burned to a crisp, and it is just possible for her to see.

The doctors state that there is not a spot on her body as large as one's palm which is not horribly burned. The physicians have done everything that can be done to ease the awful pain, but express no hope that she will live, and death is but a few hours off at best. Father Griss is with the poor woman to give spitirual comfort in her last hour.

The daughter who was burned is about three years old and her left hand is badly blistered.


GrannyPam said...

What a sad story. told in the typically graphic terms of the time.

I've seen people squirting starter on charcoal fires and wondered what's wrong with them.

Marian Pierre-Louis said...

Fascinating yet tragic. Details like this provide both satisfaction and sadness. I also came across a kitchen fire when doing research once. Horrible way to go.

Karen said...

One of my husbands great uncles was a fireman at a local hospital and his wife worked in the kitchen. Image his horror when one of the calls he had to respond to was his wife, her dress had caught fire while working in the kitchen. She died a few days later. We've found quite a few of this sort of thing. Very tragic.
Thanks Pam for your comment as well. Appreciate both of you stopping by.


Mark Krugman said...

We take for granted the advances of technology made over the years!

Jennifer said...

How horrible :(
I'm surprised at the amount of detail they gave!