Germantown, PA Lutheran Orphan Asylum Fire, Dec 1920
PHILADELPHIA FIREMEN SAVE 68 LITTLE GIRLS.
MATRONS AND NURSES AIDING, NO FATALITIES ATTEND BURNING OF LUTHERAN ASYLUM.
Philadelphia, Dec. 19. -- Fire early today destroyed a two-story dormitory of the Lutheran Orphans' Home and Asylum in Germantown, causing a loss estimated at $100,000.
Sixty-eight children, all girls between 6 and 14 years old, were asleep in the building when the fire broke out, but through the heroic work of nurses, matrons and firemen all were got out safely. Twenty-six of the children, two matrons and one fireman were overcome by smoke.
The blaze had gained great headway before it was discovered, and when the children and their caretakers, Sister ANNA and MRS. NINETTE CAMPBELL, were awakened they found the second story filled with smoke. Led by the matrons, the little charges groped their way toward the fire escape, but they had not gone far before they found their path blocked by flames. Retracing their steps, they attempted to reach the stairway; but there, too, fire and smoke barred their exit.
When it appeared as if all chance of getting out safely had passed, the matrons heard the tinkling of shattered glass and the next instant saw the helmeted head of a fireman at one of the windows. Soon another fireman appeared.
The two entered the smoke filled room and, aided by the matrons, carried the children to windows, where other firemen took them down ladders to safety. Fifteen of them were unconscious and were removed to hospitals, where they were soon revived. Both matrons were scorched and suffered from the effects of the smoke.
There was no panic among the children, MRS. CAMPBELL said.
The New York Times New York 1920-12-20