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The Mount Ayr Record-News, 1927

DEATH CAUSED BY EXPLOSION

Attempt to Start Fire With Kerosene Brings Fatal Results

Mrs. Clifford RICHARDS died Saturday morning about eight o'clock and her father, George WIDNER, is in a critical condition at a hospital in St. Joseph, Mo., as the result of an attempt to start a fire with kerosene at the RICHARDS home, five miles northeast of Kellerton, Friday.

The tragedy which brought death to the young mother cast deep sorrow over the entire community and unrestrained sympathy of neighbors and friends goes out to the bereaved husband and two little children.

Mrs. RICHARDS was in the act of starting a fire in the cook stove and after placing the kindling was pouring kerosene into the stove from a two-gallon can when live coals in the first box caused the kerosene to ignite and the flame ran up the spout of the container. An explosion resulted which threw burning oil over the body of Mrs. RICHARDS and filled the room with flame. Her body enveloped in flame, Mrs. RICHARDS ran to the yard, where her father ran to her assistance and the flames were about extinguished when the daughter, with true mother instinct, ran frantically to the house, imbued with the thought that her children were in danger. Efforts to restrain her were futile and she ran directly into the burning room. She was soon carried out, but her body was so severely burned that there was no possibility of saving her life. At eight o'clock Saturday morning life passed out. A short time before her death she was delivered of a child, the life of which passed out simultaneiously with the life of the mother.

The body of Mrs. RICHARDS was brought to the Rhoades undertaking parlors in Mount Ayr, where it was prepared for burial, and the funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the Methodist church in Kellerton. An obituary is printed in the Kellerton news in this issue.

Mr. WIDNER's condition was such Sunday afternoon that physicians advised he be taken at once to the hospital and Clair O. RHOADES took him to St. Joseph in the Rhoades ambulance, leaving Kellerton during the hour of the funeral. No word has since been received from the hospital, but it is feared that the severe burns sustained by Mr. WIDNER in his efforts to save his daughter may prove fatal.

NOTE: Gladys (WIDNER) RICHARDS was interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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