Clovis, CA New House Destroyed, Aug 1962
6 CHILDREN DIE IN HOME BLAZE; VALIANT RESCUE ATTEMPTS MADE.
NEIGHBOR SMASHES WINDOWS.
Clovis, Calif. (AP) -- The six children of BEN and BETTY FUNK died in a fire that destroyed their new home in this Fresno suburb Sunday despite valiant rescue tries by the father and neighbors.
One teen-age neighbor smashed through a window into the blazing home, and with hands slashed by broken glass, handed out four of the children. But they apparently were dead at the time.
The father and others broke more windows in desperate rescue attempts but were turned back by intense heat.
Fire Chief W. E. Riley said afterward the window smashing may have worsened the situation. "It let in wind drafts," he said.
The dead children were:
DEBORAH, 21 months.
Deputy Coroner Walter Sechler said all had suffocated.
Authorities said cause of the fire was not immediately apparent and may not be learned for several days, pending check of the ashes.
FUNK, 32, a cabinet maker, was awakened by his wife, 28, at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday with a cry of "fire!"
He broke a window of their bedroom and tumbled outside, cut by glass fragments. Then FUNK and his brother, LEONARD, 20, who had been sleeping in the back yard, pulled MRS. FUNK through the window.
Her leg was broken when it bacame entangled between frame and sill.
Russell Welch, 19, who lives two houses away, heard screams of alarm, ran to help and battered in through a window.
He told newsmen later he found three of the children in bed and two others on the floor.
"I thought at the time they were dead," he said, but, while neighbors sprayed water on him with a lawn hose, he handed four of them outside to another neighbor. An unidentified policeman brought out the other two.
The parents were taken to a Fresno hospital for treatment of shock and their injuries.
Delaware County Daily Times Chester Pennsylvania 1962-08-27