Franklin, MA Farm House Fire, Dec 1954

FIVE TRAPPED CHILDREN DIE DURING FIRE.

PERISH IN FARM HOUSE BEDROOM; FATHER SAVES MOTHER AND YOUNGEST INFANT.

Franklin, Mass., (AP) -- Five helpless children, trapped in their bedroom by flames, died a few minutes before midnight in a roaring farmhouse fire.
Their father, REGINALD DE BAGGIS, 30, a polisher at the Attleboro plant of Swank Jewelry Co., rescued his wife MAUREEN, 29, and their youngest child, DIANE, 6 months.
The dead were SHIRLEY, 7; DONALD, 6; MARGARET, 4; JOANNE, 3; and REGINA, 2.
Dr. Walter Crowley, medical examiner, said they apparently suffocated although some of the bodies were charred.
DE BAGGIS said a kitchen oil stove exploded as the family was preparing for bed about 11:45.
The five older children were asleep directly above the kitchen. Their parents and the baby were downstairs in a room adjoining the kitchen.
"I grabbed a blanket and ran into the kitchen and tried to smother the fire," the grief-stricken father said. "It didn't do any good. The flames burst all over the place."
"The flames spread so quickly I wasn't able to make it up the stairway off the kitchen. I went out front and went around the building smashing windows, trying to get in so I could go up the rear to the children."
"It didn't do any good. I cut my hand and I've got burns."
"I tried. Lord knows I tried, but I couldn't get them."

The News Frederick Maryland 1954-12-06