Colusa, CA Rest Home Fire, Oct 1964
SMOKE KILLS SEVEN IN REST HOME FIRE.
THICK CLOUDS BLINDED PATH TO SAFETY THROUGH HALLWAYS.
Colusa, Calif. (AP) -- Seven elderly persons, groping blindly in thick clouds of smoke, were killed today in a fast-moving fire that burned down the Oak Manor Rest Home for the aged.
"They were dead when the fire reached their bodies," said Colusa County Coroner Howard Moore. He attributed all the deaths to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Cause of the fire was being investigated.
Moore said a caretaker, ERNEST LINEBAUGH, 24, and an inmate, ROSE ROURKE, in her 50s, repeatedly ran into the burning one-story wooden building to bring out six other surviving inmates.
Moore theorized that the dead inmates had been aroused with the rest, when the inside alarm went off. But by the time they were ready to come out the smoke got so thick they couldn't find their way.
"I don't think any of them died in bed. It's just that the smoke got so thick they couldn't tell where they were, doorways of anything," he said.
The dead, all from California, were listed as:
FRANK YANCY, 73, Princeton.
ELLA RECKERS, 87, Williams.
CHRISTIAN DANLEY, 93, Maxwell.
MAUDE DIETRICK, Meridian.
JOHN JANSE, 80, Colusa.
FRANK SALAMBINI, 73, Colusa.
VIVIANO RODRIGUEZ, 80, Grimes.
Star News Pasadena California 1964-10-30