Burlington, VT Childrens Home Fire, May 1893


They Were Rescued Just in Time from a Burning Building.

BURLINGTON, Vt., May 2.---At 11:30 last night the City Fire Department was called upon to fight a stubborn fire that had broken out in the Home for Destitute Children, two miles from this city. The fire caught in the northeast corner of the attic. Mr. Smith, the Superintendent, was away, and all of the inmates--- seventy-one children, whose ages ranged from three-months to sixteen and eighteen years, with twenty or twenty-five attendants---were asleep. The seamstress, Minnie Langdon, who was sleeping directly under the attic, was the first to discover the fire, which had already burned through the upper floor, so that large cinders were falling down the iron stairway to the bottom of the building. She awakened the matron, Mrs. Woodward, and other attendants, who, without stopping for dressing, began carrying out the children. They were snatched from their beds and carried screaming from the building to the barn and houses of the neighbors.

All except two were rescued from the burning apartment when Miss Della Prey, an attendant, entered a room, where the others warned her that it would be certain death and removed on, and Mr. Ferguson went in and took out the last child. All through the building were people busy removing the furniture and clothing. But in their excitement much valuable property was thrown from the windows and nearly ruined.

In a short time large teams from several livery stables came and the inmates were taken to the Howard Relief.

The building and its contents were insured, but the furniture and clothing of the attendants will be almost a total loss.

The building was erected about thirty-five years ago by the United States Government as a hospital, and was used as such during the war. Passing into the hands of a corporation, it was used as a home for destitute children, and was well known as such throughout the State. The main building and additions were four stories in height and represented an expenditure of perhaps $40,000 or $50,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 May 1893