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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 26, 1913, Image 5

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-03-26/ed-1/seq-5/

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Dayton, O., March 26. (By Mes
senger 'to Lebanon, 0.) Dayton,
.that once proud and prospqrous
wealth-swollen show place of Ohio,
today is a city of the dead, the dying
and the homeless
N The whole story of the disaster
that- fell upon the cityt when the.res
oryoirs emptied their floods into the
swollen Miami and the waters tore
through the citybdnging fire in their'
wan.e,never wm oe toia.
Even an estimate of the tragedy
"cannot be made until the last waters
swollen body has been, dragged from
the flood and the last 'charred rem
jiant of humanity from the"" ruins of
the. fire.
But each fragment of the story, the
heroism of- men, of- the martyrdom,
of women, of the madness that made
j-some.jump to their death in the
' flood, of the torture of those impris
oned by, the flood :who saw death
coming upon them in theflames and
wdre helpless, is" such as - to move
men to tears and women to prayer.
- And today the first story of how
the fire started and was spread while
-the people. still, shivered under the
shock of tle flood is being whispered
by refugee to refugee.
-It was late last night. The city
was a waste of water. The very, cen-
- ter of the city, wherethe bahks the
skyscrapers, the hotelsand depart
ment stores are located, ws a seeth
ing' whirlpool. ' .
It was impossible to communicate
with any of the hundreds," the. thou
sandslof people trapped in that place
of death. f
Men and women and children were
camped, drearily on the hills to the
south of thecity, shivering with cold,
benumbed with horror, filled withfear
for their missing friends, and loved
Suddenly, a blaze, shot up from a
single house in the residence district.
It' was caused by a gas explosion in
the home of .A. J. Saettle. Saettle
himself was blown into the air and
instantly killed.
, Mrs. Shunk, a neighbor, was blown
out of her home intol the flood. She
contrived to ge a grip on. a telephone
pole. She clung to that for half an
hour, despairingly crying 'for help.
And then she was sucked down into
the swirling waters. '
VThe explosion in the Saettle home
had blown"' a stable filled with hay
into the middle of the .flooded street.
This carried the flames to the opposite-side.
Hrry Lindsay's house burned
next. Then Mary Kleidler's, and then
0. C. Lindsay's.
' The flames spread rapidly. Houses
that had been carried from their
foundations floated into the flames
and soon were bonfires that carried
the flames farther and farther afield,
And through the long night of fire
and flood, the women, and children
sat up in shivering horror and terror
and sobbed. And strong men cried
their grief too, in the nerve-shaking 1
way that strong men do voice sorrow.
In the might of the fire, a man was
seen to be marooned with his wife
and three children on the roof of, a
Ixburning building, that was cut off
from, succor by the flood.-
The man looked1 kildly around for
help and seeing none, drew a revolver
and killed his wife and babes -and
then himself. The flood carried away
the charred bodies. v .
A colored mother with her) two
babes -was being rowed, to safety by
Robert Burnham in a skiff. The skiff
was struck by a torrent-twisted tree.
It capsized. The babies were drown
ed;, the mother rescued.
JqKs Scott, agNsmploye of the Na-

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