Lynchburg, VA Orphans Home Fire, Oct 1909

Lynchburg VA Orphans Asylum grounds 2.jpg

FIVE GIRLS DIE IN FLAMES.

ORPHAN ASYLUM BURNS DOWN WITH ONLY WOMEN TO RESCUE CHILDREN.

Lynchburg, Va., Oct. 26. -- Five children, all inmates of the nursery, were burned to death in a fire which totally destroyed Shelton Cottage, the home of the girls, at the Virginia Synod Presbyterian Orphans' Home, early this morning.
The dead were:
RUBY MOOREFIELD, Lynchburg, Va.
MARY REYNOLDS, Bath County, Va.
MARIE HICKMAN, Campbell County, Va.
LUCILE MOOREFIELD, Lynchburg, Va.
MARY POOLE, McDowell County, West Va.
The children were all on the second floor of the wing of the building, and they were trapped by the fire so that their rescue was impossible. RUBY MOOREFIELD, however, was taken out of the building, but when she ascertained that the younger sister was still inside, she ran back and lost her life.
The fire was discovered by MRS. PRIEST, the cook, who was aroused by the roar of the flames. She saw that it was impossible to get the children out by the stairway, as the entire basement and first floor were enveloped, and that it would be but a few minutes before the whole building would fall. She rushed to the third story and brought fifteen children down to the second floor, leading them to the veranda top, where they were taken down a ladder or dropped into the outstretched arms of the older boys in the institution.
When these children were safe, MRS. PRIEST had to jump for her life. In doing so she received a dislocated shoulder, a scalp would, and an injury to her back. She will recover.
DR. R. H. FLEMING, the Superintendent, was away at the time of the fire, and there were no men about, except some distance away in the farmhouses. When they reached the burning structure it was too late to save the little ones. The women could not save them for they barely succeeded in saving twenty-four of the other girls.

The New York Times New York 1909-10-27