Fort Worth, TX Fatal Railroad Fire, Mar 1931

Blaze in Section Car Home Snuffs Out Lives of Two

Two Others Burned, 1 Critically, in Fort Worth Fire.

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 1 (AP). - Flames from a cookstove in a Texas & Pacific Railway section car caused the death of two persons and burned two others, one critically, Sunday on a spur track adjacent to East Rio Grande avenue at South Calhoun street.

The dead are Miss Pola Jara, 18, and her niece, Berta Ramos, 5, both Mexicans.

Mrs. Leonora J. Ramos, 28, mother of the dead child and sister of Miss Jara, is in a hospital, where physicians doubt her recovery. Her son, Albert Ramos, 11, suffered severely burned hands in trying to beat out the flames that enveloped his mother's clothing.

Berta became terrorized when flames shot from the stove and ignited the clothing of her mother and aunt and ran under the bed in her section car home. While Albert was attempting to save his mother, who jumped from the car in flames, another son, Adolph, 9, lifted up his brother, 18 months, and sister, Elisa, 4 months, and jumped from the car with the two of them. Another son, Louis, 7, saved himself.

Miss Jara, who was helping Mrs. Ramos prepare breakfast for the children when the fire started, also jumped from the car with her clothing afire and lived until 5:30 o'clock Sunday night.

What caused the flames suddenly to spurt from the stove was not determined.

The father, a section gang foreman, who has been with the Texas & Pacific Railway since he came to this country in 1919, was away from the portable home of the family at the time.

Each of the children was born in Texas and all in section cars, according to Albert, who, with tears in his eyes and between sobs, told of the fire which, in addition to causing the death of his sister and critically burning his mother and aunt, also destroyed what few possessions his family had acquired and their money.

The fire company which extinguished the blaze located the body of the burned girl under the bed. The section car, designated as X-661, has been the home of the family for the last six months and was badly damaged by the fire.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 2 Mar 1931