New Brunswick, NJ House Fire, Dec 1948


New Brunswick, N.J., Dec. 25 -- (AP) -- A wall of flames kept a 14-year-old girl from rescuing members of her family as seven persons died today in a Christmas morning fire.
Four of the victims were children, and one, not yet identified, was believed to have been a soldier.
The girl, SHIRLEY FISHER, jumped from a bedroom window of the one-story frame dwelling and her screams aroused neighbors as she tried to break through to the others trapped in the dwelling.
She is in critical condition in Middlesex General hospital suffering from burns and cuts.
Fire Chief Arthur C. Jaque said the blaze probably was caused by an overheated stove where a Christmas turkey had been cooking.
The dead, all Negroes, were identified as:
MRS. HAZEL FISHER, 43, her two children, BARBARA, eight, and PATRICIA, 10; another daughter, MRS. DORIS KIRKMAN, 26, and her two children, RONALD, 6, and COYA, 4.
Identity of the seventh victim is not yet known, police said.
Only a nine-foot brick chimney remained of the small dwelling as a result of the fire, which was described by officials as the worst in the city's history.

Charleston Gazette West Virginia 1948-12-26