Peoria Heights, IL Explosion and Fire, Nov 1952

SEVEN TOTS ARE KILLED IN BLAST AND FIRE.

Peoria, Ill. (AP) - Firemen today believed that a coal stove explosion touched off a fire that killed seven children near here Sunday night.
Their charred bodies, burned beyond recognition, were found in the ruins of a one-story house by Richard Township firemen, who
"carried them out in pieces," a witness said.
The fire raced through the building so quickly that the children were dead almost before they could stir in their beds. They were sleeping only a few feet from exits.
It was believed that an explosion showered flames and hot coals through the room, starting the whirlwind fire in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Howard of suburban Peoria Heights.
The flames wiped out Mr. and Mrs. Howard's entire family, which ranged in age from 10 months to eight years.
The fire whipped through the structure with fuse-like speed at about 10 p.m. and spread to a neighboring house. Both homes were leveled.
The children were identified as:
ANNIE MAY, 8.
SHARON, 7.
FRANK, JR., 6.
FRANCES KAY, 4.
SANDRA KAY, 3.
JANICE, 2.
and DORIS ANN, 10 months.
The parents were not home at the time of the fire. Howard, a Negro construction worker, told Deputy Coroner Horace Tayton he and his wife went to a grocery store to buy a loaf of bread and were gone 15 or 20 minutes.

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern Wisconsin 1952-11-10