Pretoria, PA house fire, Jun 1937

Holsopple Boy Cremated, Fire Sweeps Shack

Special to The Courier.

SOMERSET, June 24. - Sammy Dufrat, 10 years old, was cremated and his 14-year-old brother, Frank, Jr., were burned severely when the shanty in which they were sleeping was destroyed by fire at their home at Pretoria, near Holsopple, Wednesday.

Sammy was burned beyond recognition when he was caught by the falling roof while attempting to escape. His brother made his way out of the flaming shack just as the roof gave way.

Frank was removed to Memorial Hopsital here where his condition was described as fair. He suffered first and second degree burns of the hands and arms, received as he tried to rescue his younger brother.

Sammy was only four feet from the door and safety when the roof caved in and pinned him underneath to die a torturous death.

It was said that the boys had spent many night in the shanty, located at the rear of the Dufrat home, because "it's cooler out there."

But Tuesday night, according to the story told neighbors by Frank, the youths became chilly and decided to build a fire in a small coal stove in the shanty. The stove became hot, the walls caught fire and soon the building was a mass of flames.

Sammy, the victim, was the first to awaken. He aroused his brother and they began to dash for safety. It was believed that Sammy tripped over an automobile seat and before he could get to his feet, the roof fell in. Sammy died there, screaming.

Heat Balks Rescue.

Neighbors were awakened by the confusion and smell of smoke but they were powerless to effect a rescue because of the intense heat.

Sammy was a step-son of Frank Dufrat of Pretoria, a blacksmith. The youth's real name was Sammy Saughie but the boys' names were changed when Mrs. Saughie married Mr. Dufrat.

Sammy was accidentally shot in the right leg a year ago and was a patient at Memorial Hospital from June 5 to June 28.

The funeral service will be held at 9:30 A. M. tomorrow at St. Ann's Catholic Church, Holsopple, whith interment in the church cemetery.

The Daily Courier, Connellsville, PA 24 Jun 1937