Ft. Madison, IA Store & Apartment Fire, Apr 1892



The Family of S. V. Kitchen of Ft. Madison Meet Death at an Early Hour This Morning.

Ft. Madison, April 6 -- Fire broke out in the McIntosh & Pease store early this morning. The building was consumed and the family of S. V. KITCHEN, living above, seven in number, were all burned to death. An explosion of gunpowder cut off their escape.
A frightful calamity occurred last night in this city by which nine people lost their lives. A two story building on Santa Fe avenue, owned by S. V. KITCHEN, the upper story of which was used as a dwelling by the owner, the lower occupied by a general store by McClintock & Pease was discovered on fire about midnight. Two minutes later a terrific explosion shook the building. The flames burst out furiously.
It is supposed some kegs of powder stored in the building exploded, which destroyed the stairs leading to the second story shutting off escape. The fire burned very rapidly and before the department could get to work, the building was doomed. No cries were heard from those in the building. All perished in the flames. They were:
S. V. KITCHEN, aged 35 years.
MRS. S. V. KITCHEN, aged 35 years.
Three children aged 1, 3, 5 years.
MISS SIDNEY DAY, sister of MRS. KITCHEN, aged 18.
AUGUST KNEYNER, boarder, aged seventeen.
HENRY KNEYNER, boarder, aged eighteen.
S. M. KITCHEN, aged twenty, brother of the owner.
The two last were taken out alive but died this morning. The seven bodies found in the ruins presented a ghastly sight.
MRS. KITCHEN, MISS DAY and baby were found locked in each other's arms. With great difficulty they were separated. The origin of the fire is a mystery.

The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette Iowa 1892-04-06