Dennis; Sterling, Illinois, died 1874

ANOTHER KEROSENE HORROR.–The Clinton Herald records a terrible accident occurring Wednesday of last week, in Sterling, Ill., from the too oft-repeated careless habit of using kerosene to kindle a fire, resulting in the deaths of two persons, Mrs. Dennis and her daughter. The Herald says:

The result was but a repetition of that already chronicled in hundreds of other cases, and against which the community is almost daily warned by the press. The incipient fire was communicated as if by magic to the contents of the can, the latter exploded with great force, throwing the liquid over the person of the girl and completely saturating her clothing, which was instantly covered with a roaring flame.

Hearing the screams of her daughter, Mrs. Dennis sprang from an adjoining room and, in the agony of the moment and her desire to render assistance, forgot her own danger and was frightfully burned before she succeeded in extinguishing the mad flames. Both mother and daughter inhaled the fire and were burned to a crisp outside. The girl lived but two hours and Mrs. Dennis died that same evening. The whole community was horrified by the untimely accident and the surviving relatives of the victims were of course inconsolable. The warning was a vivid one, yet no more so than has occurred so very often before. And yet people continue to use this dangerous instrument in kindling fires.

September 24, 1874

Anamosa Eureka, 1st page, 4th column, midway down


About Kindra

Executive Director for Quaker House, bringing a little bit of peace through counseling and support to military members and their families.
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