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Obituaries - NJ - 1901 - Laura Duncan
A Child Burned To Death
Its Clothing Caught Fire From a Kitchen Stove
Mrs. Charles Duncan Went Out of Doors, Leaving the Child Alone in the House - Its Clothing Caught Fire and It Burned to Death
Laura Duncan, aged four years, daughter of Mrs. Charles Duncan of Washington street, was burned to death at her home on Friday afternoon. The little girl's clothing caught fire while her mother was out of doors and before the fire could be put out the child had been burned so badly from head to foot that it lived only about fifteen minutes.
Mrs. Duncan had gone to the home of a neighbor, Mrs. Linzey Dunbar, whose child had swallowed some carbolic acid. The Duncan child was left alone in the kitchen. Mrs. Duncan stayed at Mrs. Dunbar's only a few minutes. She was urged to stay longer, but upon being satisfied that the Dunbar child was out of danger she returned home. When she reached the house the clothing of her little girl was ablaze. The child must have got afire by playing with the stove, as there was no other fire in the room. Mrs. Duncan picked the child up in her arms and ran screaming out on the back stoop. The air fanned the flames into a fiercer blaze and before anything could be done for the child nearly every stitch of clothing had been burned from its body. The child was carried back in the house and Doctors Young and Curtis were sent for. The child was terribly burned about the head and body and it lived but a few minutes after the doctores arrived. The mother became frantic when told that the child was dead.
The funeral was held on Sunday morning at the house and was conducted by Rev. E. C. Hancock. The body was buried at Fair View cemetery. There were a number of floral tributes.
Mrs. Duncan received $18 from the Prudential insurance company, the amount for which the child's life was insured in that company. She was also voted $15 by the Daughters of Liberty lodge, of which she is a member.
Mrs. Duncan stumbled over the body of her child when she went in the house after her visit at Mrs. Dunbar's, and her ankle was sprained. She is still unable to walk as the result of the accident.
Mrs. Duncan has five other children and the oldest is not yet fifteen. Mr. Duncan deserted his family several months ago and his whereabouts are unknown. Mrs. Duncan supports the family. One son, Freddie Duncan, helps his mother some by working for Thomas Walling on his milk route every morning before school time and by selling newspapers. All the other children attend school.
An alarm of fire was rung when Mrs. Duncan ran out of doors with the child. The firemen were out almost at the first tap of the bell, but their services were not needed as the house did not get afire.
Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, Feb 13, 1901
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