Redby, MN House Fire Kills Three, Apr 1958


Redby, Minn. (AP) - Fire which broke out while they were eating colored Easter eggs around the kitchen table killed three small children Sunday. Their mother was injured in a futile rescue attempt.

Dead were REBECCA, 4, ADRIAN, 2, and DONNA JEAN, 1, children of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver CLARK.

The fire which swept the CLARKS' two-room frame house on the Redby outskirts started while the parents were away from home briefly. CLARK, 28, left the house shortly before 10 a.m. to buy coffee. His 26-year-old wife went next door to visit a neighbor, leaving the children seated at the breakfast table.

Mrs. Clark looked out from the neighbor's home a few minutes later and saw her home in flames. The neighbor, Francis Downwind, kicked open a door but was driven back by the heat.

Mrs. Clark fought to enter the house through a rear window and suffered cuts and burns in her effort She was taken to a hospital in a state of shock.

The bodies of the two eldest children were found in a bed. Clark said they apparently sought to hide in the bed when the fire broke out. Clark did not know how the fire started. The home was heated by a wood-burning stove.

Telephone lines to Bemidji and the Red Lake Agency were out of order when the fire broke out. A Redby resident drove five miles to Red Lake to summon firemen, who arrived too late to save the house.

Redby is on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, about 30 miles north of Bemidji.

The Winona Daily News Minnesota 1958-04-07