Ambler, PA House Fire Kills Six, Oct 1953


Ambler, Pa. (AP) -- A mother and her five children are dead in one of the worst fire tragedies in the history of this suburban Philadelphia community.
The husband and father of the victims and four guests of the family escaped the blaze which swept through their three-story home early yesterday.
An oil stove explosion touched off the blaze, firemen reported, and in seconds flames shot up an open stairway leading to the upper two floors. The victims were all trapped in their third floor bedrooms. Two people on the second floor escaped.
The father, JOHN DUCKETT, SR., 32, was on the first floor with a friend, STANLEY TATE, 23, when the explosion occurred. The pair tried in vain to get up the stairway but finally had to flee from the burning home.
Meantime, EVA DEAN, 17, DUCKETT'S sister-in-law, and LOUELLA ROBINSON, 24, climbed from a second floor bedroom to a shed roof and thence through the window of an adjoining residence.
Firemen raised extension ladders to the third floor in an effort to reach the trapped family but were driven back by the flames.
DUCKETT'S wife, DORA, 29, was found lying in the doorway of the front bedroom with 3-month-old ARLENE in her arms. The rest of the children, JOHN R., 6; JUNE, 5; DOROTHEA, 4; and CALVIN, 3, were found huddled on the floor of the bedroom.
Acting Coroner Dr. John Simpson said they had been overcome by smoke.

Daily Times-News Burlington North Carolina 1953-10-19