Panton, VT House Fire, Dec 1966


Panton, Vt. -- Officials are investigating an early morning fire in which six members of a family perished Wednesday.
Fire fighters recovered all six bodies from the ruins of the two-story dwelling.
Killed were:
his wife DOLORES, 38.
son GERALD, JR., 16.
daughters FRANCES, 17, and BARBARA 1 1/2.
Warren's mother, MRS. FLORENCE WARREN, 74, of 115 Culbert St., Syracuse, N.Y.
Authorities said a house guest, WILLIAM J. STIER, JR., 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Stier of 1311 Court St., Syracuse, attempted to drag the unconscious victims to safety after he discovered the fire about 2:15 a.m.
He ran for help, officials said, and returned to find the house a mass of flames.
STIER was visiting the WARREN home for the holidays with FRANCES, and her grandmother, with whom FRANCES lived while attending school in Syracuse.
STIER and FRANCES were students at Onondaga Community College where she was a freshman and he was a sophomore.
He was taken to a Burlington hospital and treated for minor cuts and shock. STIER was at his home in Syracuse last night.
State fire Marshal Robert Richardson said that when the fire started, STIER attempted to wake the others, but was unable to, so dragged several
of them into the living room. He broke through a window and, clad only in pajamas, ran half a mile
through subfreezing temperatures to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hutchins.
STIER, relating the nightmare, said he and GERALD, JR., were sleeping on the main floor of the house and the other members of the WARREN family were upstairs.
STIER said he heard loud crackling noises in the pitch dark about 1 a.m. He said he was groggy and went back to sleep, then woke a few minutes later to find the house filling with smoke. He said he started up the stairway but was driven back by the smoke. He said he screamed "fire!" He said he heard some noise upstairs and assumed the WARRENS were getting out.
The Community College student said he then broke out a window with his fist and jumped out. He ran to the Hutchins home where he turned in the alarm.
WARRENS, an engineer with Simmonds Precision Co. in nearby Vergennes, had moved his family from Syracuse into the remodeled farmhouse about a year ago.
Panton is in the rolling countryside along the central section of the Lake Champlain Valley.

The Post Standard Syracuse New York 1966-12-29