Boonton, NJ Six Perish In House Fire, Jan 1975



Boonton, N.J. (AP) -- Four children, their father and his aunt died in a fire that trapped them in the upstairs of their split-level house in this Morris County community, police said.
The children's mother was critically injured when she apparently jumped from an upstairs window to escape the fire late Tuesday night, authorities said.
Police said EDWARD MAPHET, 36; his aunt, MARY MAPHET, and his children -- EDWARD, 12; KATHLEEN, 11; PATRICIA, 9; and ELEANOR, 5 -- were overcome by smoke and heat from the blaze.
MAPHET'S body was found in a bathroom, one of the children was found in a hallway, the other three children were in their beds and the aunt's body was in a front bedroom near a window, police said. They said all were clad in pajamas.
Fire fighters found DENISE MAPHET, 32, lying in the yard in shock with broken ribs, internal injuries and bruises, police said. She was in critical condition at a hospital in Denville, a hospital spokesman said.
Police said the fire apparently started in the living room and burned only the front downstairs of the house. They said the cause was not immediately known.
A neighbor reported the fire to police just before midnight, authorities said.

Corpus Christi Times Texas 1975-01-16


Maphet Fire

I grew up in Boonton and lived just 2 blocks from the Fireman's home - I moved from Boonton in 1970 so I don't remember the fire, but I know of your Mom's husband and other children because they are buried very near my husband in St Mary's. My husband also died very young and left two small children, my children, now grown. I'm sorry that I can't provide you with the details that you are looking for - I can only tell you that you and your Mom's family are so often in my prayers because I see the headstone each time I go to St Mary's and think of how tragic that fire must have been

Fire Information 1975

I read your question in reply to an article about the house fire in Boonton, NJ in 1975. Edward Maphet who died in the fire was my dearest cousin and was two years older than I. We were scheduled to see each other after a long absence within a month but then he died. I believe your mother must be Denise (Denny) and I spoke to her after the fire as there were so many questions and she graciously answered them for me. She had remarried the man who had sung at the funeral for my cousin and the children and Aunt Mary. Your mom was having a difficult time breathing I recall as she smoked which my own mother's situation. My mother passed ten years ago and she was Ned's (Edward Maphet) closest relative when I was a boy. I thought your mom married a Mr. Cook and tthey lived in the same house that housed the fire. She mentioned she had another son (this is a long time ago) and called him I believe Edward....this must be you. Is your mom still alive? I attended the entire funeral, spoke to many of the firemen and visited the graves in Boonton Cemetery many times when I was on the road. I am certain I can answer most of your questions, but except for my admiration for your mother most of my recollection would be with the Maphet family. Please EMail if this is helpful to you and to let me know about your mother and Dad. You must be in your early thirties or late twenties now. Good luck and I hope to hear from you.

Your mother

Your mother was a childhood friend ("cousin") of my mother. I remember the day this morning after this happened, my mother was beside herself. I was only 9 at the time, but I remember someone saying that it was caused by a stereo left on. Is your mother still alive? My mother often prays for her...


Maphet Fire

Hello Sam,
I just came across this website. The surviving woman was my mother. I am curious if you or any members of your family remember anything about that day as I would like to find out more about the event myself. The house was located down the hill from the fireman's home.

Thank you


What a sad story. Do you happen to know the address where the fire occurred? I was living in Boonton at the time this happened, but I do not have any memory of this event. I was a month from my 12th birthday, in 6th grade, at the only public elementary school in Boonton at the time (School Street School) - yet, I recall neither the children nor the fire.

Thanks - this is an interesting site.