Rochester, VT House Fire, Feb 1921
SIX IN FAMILY OF TEN ARE BURNED TO DEATH
Two Others May Die as the Result of a Vermont Man Lighting His Stove With Gasoline.
RUTLAND, Vt., Feb. 1.--Six persons, four of them small children, lost their lives, two other children were probably fatally burned and their parents were seriously injured in a fire at Rochester, Vt., twenty miles from here, that destroyed the ramshackle house in which they made their home, at 5 o'clock this morning.
The dead are:
Lewis Martel, aged 70 years;
Arthur Martel, aged 21 years;
Earl Martel, aged 9 years;
Catherine Martel, aged 7 years;
Chester Martel, aged 5 years;
Weller Martel, aged 4 years.
Henry Martel, the father of the children, escaped with burned hands. Mrs. Martel, mother of the children, was badly burned, and her condition, coupled with the shock, is extremely critical.
So far as can be learned, Henry Martel, father of the family, arose about 5 o'clock to light the fire. It is thought that he must have poured gasoline into the stove instead of kerosene. Two containers were in the back part of the house and he may have picked up the wrong one in the darkness.
Just what happened may never be known. The shack had but one entrance at the rear and only two small windows, one of which was boarded up. The door was soon blocked by flames and the place became a roaring furnace, shutting off the escape by the windows. The children were sleeping soundly in bed when the fire broke out, as was their elderly grandfather, and the older brother, Arthur, at home for a short visit with his parents from Rochester, where he was employed.
The Martel family had bought a farm close by, on which the house had been burned nearly a year ago. Because of the high cost of building materials they decided to move into the shack as a temporary arrangement until the price dropped.
The New York Times, New York, NY 2 Feb 1921