Earl and Richard Anliker

O'Brien County Bell, 15 Jan 1947, p. 1

West Bend, Ia. - Special: Richard Anliker, 22, died Sunday night in a Fort Dodge hospital of burns suffered in a futile attempt to rescue his 15-year-old sister, Helen, from flames which consumed their farm home while several other family members were in church here. Richard suffered burns about most of his body, his father, Noah Anliker, said. The body of Miss Anliker was found late Sunday afternoon by West Bend firemen probing the ashes of the burned structure.

Earl, who served in the army during the war, while Richard was in the navy, told the following story:
Helen was preparing dinner in the kitchen shortly after noon, and Richard, Paul and Daniel were in the room with her. Earl was in the dining room. Noting that the fire in the wood burning stove in the kitchen had died down, Helen attempted to "hurry it up" by pouring kerosene on the flames. A loud explosion followed.

Earl, rushing in, found the room engulfed in flames. Richard was struggling to help Helen. Earl took his two younger brothers out through a window in the dining room. He went back into the kitchen and brought Richard out the same way.

Then he sought to find the body of his sister, but was forced back by the flames and smoke. Earl drove a half mile to the home of a neighbor, Albert Stone, for help. Stone went to the burning building, picked up Richard and drove to West Bend. There Richard was placed in an ambulance by Dr. Warren J. Morrison. Dr. Morrison, who rode with Richard in the ambulance to Fort Dodge, said the young man's clothing was burned off almost entirely. He said he understood Richard had rolled in the snow outside the farmhouse to extinguish the flames.

Dr. Morrison quoted Richard as saying: "The walls were all aflame. Everything was on fire at once."

Louie F. Schafer, member of the West Bend fire department, said the firemen sprayed water on the burning kitchen for an hour before they could enter to search for the girl's body. They reached the scene at about 1:30 p.m., he said, and found the body shortly after 4 p.m.

Members of the Anliker family are being cared for by relatives and friends here. Richard served in the Pacific was theater as a seaman second class. Earl served in Germany as a private first class. Helen was in the eighth grade at the consolidated school here. Survivors, in addition to the father and the other children, include a sister, Mrs. Irene Neighbor of Elgin, Ill. Mrs. Anliker died five years ago. - Sioux City Journal

Transcribed by Alan Nicholson

O'Brien County Iowa Genealogy - The IAGenWeb Project