Waco, TX Gas Heater Asphyxiation, Oct 1912

Boy Asphyxiated At Waco.

James Ellis of West Found Dead in Bed.

Special To The News.
Waco, Tex., Oct. 17.-JAMES ELLIS, aged 10 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ellis, living at West, was found dead in his room at a boarding school here at 3:45 this morning. The discovery was made by the president of the school which young Ellis attended. The body was viewed by Justice H.M. Richie, who said his verdict would be that asphyxiation caused the child’s death.

It was stated by the president of the school that the gas pipe in the boy’s room, used to furnish fuel for a gas heater, had been giving trouble; that he tested the pipe last night, and that the gas wouldn’t burn. He then took the heater into another room. The president’s wife, who is ill, was awakened by an odor of escaping gas shortly before 4 o’clock this morning. She aroused her husband and when the latter entered the boy’s room, he was almost overcome by the fumes. After trying to arouse the boy, he touched a match to the gas jet, which was turned on a third of the way, and a loud report followed, the gas igniting and scorching the wainscoting in the room. Physicians worked with the boy two hours in a fruitless effort to resuscitate him. The body was warm when found.

A window in the boy’s room was open, but as it had been raining all night, and the air was very heavy, this fact probably prevented the gas from escaping from the room. The president’s room was close to that in which young Ellis slept, separated by a bathroom, and the doors leading into all three of the rooms were open.

The body was embalmed and will probably be sent to West for burial. This was the boy’s first year at school here, he having entered when the term began in September.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 18 Oct 1912