Statesville, NC House Fire, Dec 1946


Statesville, N.C. -- Three children have been burned to death, and their father is not expected to live following a kerosene heater explosion near Statesville, N.C.
The explosion destroyed the 3-room shack in which MR. and MRS. RAY EDWIN BROWN and their three children lived. MRS. BROWN is also in critical condition at a Statesville hospital.
The three victims already dead are two-year-old DAVID, five-year-old RAY, JR., and seven-year-old HARVEY.
The fire started early today when BROWN, a 29-year-old textile worker, started to build a fire in the heater in the bedroom in which all five persons slept.
BROWN poured kerosene into the heater, which held warm coals from the night before. It exploded, hurling fire over his body. Investigators say he raced outside with his clothes a mass of flames.
MRS. BROWN followed with a blanket and smothered the flames.
By the time she ran back to try to save the three children the dry frame house was a roaring inferno in which the youngsters perished.
BROWN and his wife have been taken to a Statesville hospital, but doctors hold practically no hope for his recovery. MRS. BROWN suffered burns on her left arm and back.

Ruston Daily Leader Louisiana 1946-12-19