George William Black
Three-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Plumer Black.

Little Child is Burned to Death Early Today

Residence of Plummer Black Burns to Ground---Mother of Child Rushes From Burning House Supposing Child Would Follow---Overcome By Smoke He remains Behind

George, the little three-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Plumer Black, was burned to death this morning at about 9 o'clock when the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Black caught fire and was burned to the ground. Mr. Black is employed in the Pittsburgh Crucible Limestone Companies quarries near Bessemer and had built himself a small house on the company's property where he and his family lived. This morning at about 9 o'clock while Mrs. Black was sitting in the middle room, the house being a three-room single story frame structure, sewing, she suddenly smelled smoke and picking up her small baby she ran into the bedroom and discovered that the fire had gained some headway and it was useless to try to fight it and so, calling to George, the little three-year-old son who was in the room where the fire started, to follow her, she picked up the baby and rushed from the house supposing that her little son had followed her.

The men in the quarries were on the scene in a very few seconds and were fighting the fire valiently but the structure, which was made entirely of wood and was even lined with boards covered with a kind of heavy paper that burned very easily, was already a mass of flames and nothing could be done to save it. The horror and dismay that each fire fighter felt when he heard the cry of a small child within the seething mass of flames can easily be imagined and it spurred them on to one more desperate effort and they broke through the windows only to be met by a rush of flames that it would be folly to try to penetrate. The mother had not noticed in the excitement that the child was not following her and when the full shock of realization came upon her she became nearly frantic and could not be subdued. The men who were fighting the fire redoubled their efforts in order to save the remains of the child from cremation and after a short time the flames were conquered and then began the search through the blackened ruins for the remains of the child. The men, not knowing the location of the child when the fire started, began at the wrong end of the house to search but after a short time discovered the remains burned to a crisp. An undertaker was called and the remains were given over to his care to be prepared for burial.

Source: New Castle Herald, 20 April 1914, page 1.

Submitted by Mary Lorena Hague

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