Brighton, OH House Fire, Aug 1851


The Cleveland Plain Dealer gives the details of a terrible calamity which took place in the town of Brighton, five miles from that city, between 11 and 12 o'clock, on Tuesday night, August 19th. The house of a MR. ONACKER occupied by himself, wife and six children took fire and was consumed in less than twenty minutes.
About midnight, MR. ONACKER and his wife were awakened from sound sleep by the most dreadful shrieks. They jumped from the bed, the smoke was pouring into their room, half stifling them with its thick, hot volume, the most horrible cries and groans proceeded from the apartment occupied by their five sons. The awful truth flashed at once upon the minds of the poor parents. They attempted to rush to the rescue of their darlings. The flames choked their way. In ten minutes the house would be a smouldering heap of ruins. Now was the only time to escape, and the miserable father and mother, almost crazed with the sense of the disaster, snatched up their sixth and last child, a mere infant, who fortunately slept with them, and rushed into the open air.
In a few minutes the house fell to the ground.
A few crumbling bones alone remained. The ages of the boys were 16, 14, 12, 11, and 2.

Weekly Wisconsin Milwaukee 1851-09-03