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Pittsville, WI Frame House Fire, Apr 1961

FIRE FATAL FOR MOTHER, TWO CHILDREN.

Pittsville, Wis. (UPI) -- A mother and her two teen-aged daughters died early today in a fire which swept the upper floor of their two story frame home in this central Wisconsin community.
Authorities said the mother lost her life trying to save the girls.
Dead were:
MRS. HAROLD BAUM, 40.
SHARON BAUM, 15.
JEAN BAUM, 13.
The mother was found in the second floor bathroom and the two girls were in their bedroom.
Smoke drove back the husband and father, HAROLD BAUM, when he attempted to search the second floor for his wife and daughters.
Two firemen from the Pittsville volunteer company were overcome by smoke. One of them, RONALD DIEHER, had to be hospitalized. The other is ALFRED ERICSON, treated at the scene.
BAUM told Pittsville Fire Chief Nick Kleifgen that about 1 a.m. his wife "heard a noise" upstairs and went to investigate. She and her husband and their two sons, FRED, 17, and JOHN, 4, had been sleeping on the first floor.
BAUM said at that time smoke couldn't be smelled downstairs.
Kleifgen said MRS. BAUM apparently became overcome almost as soon as she got upstairs. She apparently stumbled into the bathroom and collapsed. The two girls never got out of their bedroom.
Kleifgen said he believed the fire started in the girls' bedroom.
After BAUM was halted by smoke in his attempt to find his wife and daughters, he and the two boys made their way safely from the house, Kleifgen said.
The fire was brought under control quickly after firemen arrived, Kleifgen said, and the bodies taken from the house.
The Pittsville Fire Department does not have a resuscitator and firemen on the scene used mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration until a resuscitator unit from Marshfield arrived.
Kleifgen said he has called in a State Fire Marshal office's official from Wausau to investigate the cause of the blaze.

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern Wisconsin 1961-04-25

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