Hartford, MI Convalescent Home Fire, Feb 1954


Hartford, Mich. -- (AP) -- Seven aged patients died in a raging fire which raced through a two story convalescent home late last night.
In half an hour the fire burned down the frame Shimer Convalescent Home, three miles west of this southwestern Michigan town. A portable electric heater is blamed for the fire.
The police said firemen who searched the ruins for bodies released a revised list of the dead and injured today.
Killed were:
E. EARL BABCOCK, 76, of Watervliet.
FRED SAYLES, 86, of Glenn.
MRS. LUCY SPARLING, 91, of Coloma.
SAMUEL LUTZ, 93, of Covert.
MRS. ADELINE BLAKESLEE, 79, of Benton Harbor.
LOUISE BISHOP, 82, of Benton Harbor.
MRS. MARY COLLINS, 66, of Watervliet, dragged by firemen from her burning bed, was dead on arrival in a hospital.
Only three were rescued, MRS. JENNIE SCHUSTER, 81, of Benton Harbor, is listed in critical condition.
CHRIS BINDER, 79, and his wife, KATHERINE, 82, are being treated for shock.
It was BINDER'S heroic action which saved him and his wife from possible death. He was an ambulater patient on the second floor. When the fire broke out BINDER tottered down the stairs to the room where his wife was confined to a bed.
Half dragging, half carrying her, BINDER got her to an outside doorway. From there he staggered to safety and MRS. BINDER crawled the rest of the way.

The Fresno Bee Republican California 1954-02-20