Waterville, ME Hospital Fire, Apr 1939
26 in Blazing Hospital Wing Removed Safely
Nine Infants Rescued with Other Patients in Early Morning Fire at Waterville.
Waterville, Md., April 6.--(AP)--Nine new-born babies had a baptism of smoke and fire today in a blaze with forced evacuation of 26 patients from a maternity and children's wing of Sisters' Hospital here.
Deterring combat with the flames until rescues were effected, firemen in smoke masks, took all the endangered persons to safety, some down ladders, others through windows.
No injuries occurred, but Sister Camilia, elderly hospital superior suffering from illness, collapsed after she telephoned the alarm.
Fire Chief Grover D. Lovejoy estimated damage at $10,000 to the 2½ story wooden wing, known as St. Vincent's.
Firemen from Winslow and Fairfield assisted Waterville firemen in subsiding the general alarm fire which spread rapidly through the wing after smoke first was discovered at 5:15 A.M. seeping through the wards. The fire started in a basement storeroom.
Working in haste, firemen effec[ineligible] of five women and their babies from the second floor maternity ward. Four infants were carried down ladders.
Other patients and infants on the first floor were aided through windows and into the main hospital building.
During the fire physicians and nurses on the staff, and nurses on the waiting list were called upon to restore order among startled occupants of the main hospital and help in relocating those taken from the wing.
Daily Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME 7 Apr 1939