Kansas City, MO Apartment Fire, Jan 1946

TEN PERSONS PERISH IN APARTMENT FIRE.

SURVIVORS DESCRIBE FRANTIC ATTEMPTS AT ESCAPE -- 6 VICTIMS WERE CHILDREN.

Kansas City, Jan. 28 (AP) -- A tragic story or horror and frustrated escapes was told today by survivors of an early morning fire which turned an old apartment building here into a raging furnace and snuffed out the lives of 10 persons -- six of them children. Four others were injured.
The fire, discovered shortly before dawn Sunday, raced through the 28 living units as more than 70 scantily clad residents fought their way through smoke and flame in a frantic effort to escape into the frigid 18 degree temperature outside.
At least 25 of them were carried down ladders by firemen of 17 companies who battled the inferno. Some leaped as far as 30 feet to the ground and still others reached the four fire escapes of the building, an old residence with a large three-story addition which once served as a hotel. Cause of the fire has not been determined.

Watched Victims Burn.
GEORGE LINDSAY, whose mother escaped from a third-floor apartment, told of watching two trapped victims burn behind windows which had been barred as a precaution against burglars.
"We watched them break out the window glass," he related. "They screamed and tore at the bars. One stopped to tear off his chothing which caught fire. Then, they just burned to death while we watched helplessly."
Perishing were:
ROBERT O'DELL, 5.
MRS. RENA HUGGARD, 50.
SHIRLEY HUGGARD, 13, her daughter.
MRS. MILDRED RUPE, 26, and her daughters, LORETTA LUCILLE, 2, and DORIS EVELYN, 5.
CHARLES KRAUS, 47.
MRS. ALICE WATKINS, 23, and her children, ROBERT TARBER, 4, and LORRAINE TARBER, 3.

Clerks Family Was Trapped.
CLIFFORD L. WATKINS, a railroad clerk was almost incoherent with grief as he told how he climbed out on a top floor window ledge and calling for help, was assisted down a hastily erected ladder before he could make a fireman understand his family was trapped. Firemen then tried to reach the WATKINS apartment but were turned back by flames and smoke.

The Emporia Gazette Kansas 1946-01-28