North Stratford, NH Nursing Home Fire, Feb 1967
NURSING HOME FIRE CLAIMS 4.
VICTIMS INCLUDE ELDERLY MAN AND 3 WOMEN.
North Stratford, N.H. (AP) -- The bodies of three elderly patients were recovered today from the smouldering ruins of the Daigneault Nursing Home
and the search continued for a fourth patient missing and presumed dead.
The bodies taken to a funeral home in nearby Groveton were identified as those of:
MRS. JENNIE CRAWFORD, 95.
MRS. IDA GRAHAM, 70.
MRS. CATHERINE LaROCHELLE, 68, all of Groveton.
Missing was JOHN NYLAN, 76, of North Stratford.
The fire erupted about 6 p.m. Wednesday and quickly swept the structure which was believed to have been built in the late 1700s. It was one of the oldest buildings in the area.
The 16-room building was leveled.
Sixteen patients were led to safety by nurses aides.
Ten of the rescued were taken to hospitals in West Stewartston and Lancaster for protection from the near zero cold. The other six were taken in by relatives or friends.
The cause of the fire was not determined immediately. There was no estimate of damage.
More than 100 volunteer firemen from four communities joined in fighting the blaze, which also damaged other buildings on the property.
Firemen had to pump water half a mile from a farmhouse.
North Stratford is a small community on the shores of the Connecticut River 20 miles from the Canadian border.
Owners Live Nearby.
The structure had been used as a nursing home, operated by Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Daigneault, for about 10 years. It previously had been a town meeting hall and an inn. The Daigneaults live in a nearby home.
The cold temperatures and difficulty in gaining water hampered firemen. The flames broke through the roof about 15 minutes after the fire began. A pillar of flames rose into the night sky and a policeman, NICHOLAS STONE of Groveton, was injured while directing traffic at the scene. He was struck by a car and was hospitalized with leg fractures.
The blaze continued through the night and kept firemen from entering to recover the bodies until today.
MRS. CRAWFORD had celebrated her 95th birthday anniversary Wednesday.
All available doctors and nurses in the area were alerted. The Lancaster hospital made use of its disaster plan for the first time.
Nashua Telegraph New Hampshire 1967-02-09