Passaic, NJ Mason House Fire, Apr 1914


Fire Started by Defective Insulation in Dwelling in Passaic.

Special to The New York Times.

PASSAIC, N. J., April 3.---The home of Mrs. Victor L. Mason, at 175 Pennington Avenue, in the heart of the finest residential district of Passaic, was destroyed by fire at 10 o'clock tonight. When the fire started, probably because of defective insulation of electric light wires, Mrs. Mason and her three children were attending a dance at Smith's Academy, and the servants had left the house.

Charles S. H. Johnson, President of the Passaic Board of Trade, and I. W. England, the Vice President, who were attending a meeting at the home of Christian Bahnsen, opposite the Mason home, were the first to see the flames. They believed that Mrs. Mason had gone out, leaving her children in the house. Although the flames had then gained much headway, Mr. Johnson and Mr. England broke down a door and made their way to the bedrooms on the upper floor. Crawling on their hands and knees they searched the rooms and did not withdraw until they were satisfied that no one was in any of them. By that time several of the neighbors had entered the building and they assisted Mr. Johnson and Mr. England who were overcome by smoke into the open air.

The damage to the house was estimated at $17,000, and although much of the furniture was carried out, it is believed that $7,000 worth was destroyed. The building was owned by George K. Rose, of New York, formerly a member of the Passaic Council.

Mrs. Mason is the widow of Victor L. Mason, once private secretary to Secretaries of War Alger and Root and a friend of ex-President Taft. He was killed on May 13, 1912, while making an aeroplane flight at Brooklands, England, as a passenger, with Edward Fisher, an aviator.

The New York Times, New York, NY 4 Apr 1914